All the reports in our readings this week emphasized the geographic location of the respondents, calling data sorted by geographic categories as a "critical" supplement to the service profile (1994 Falling, p2). This emphasis deserves some discussion.
For well over 100 years, US demographers have shown that place matters, and place is often a key factor in your "life chances" of education, work, and health. Similarly, the stratification model of owning/usage gaps (Norris p31) also can be viewed geographically. When factoring in your place, the normalization model fails. Those in the rural South may never have the equity of access & usage as those in the rural North, even if income and education are the same. Thus the reason for the geographic subtitle of the Falling article: "A Survey of the 'Have Nots' in Rural and Urban America". And not just rural/urban--thinking back to Norris' reading--even your global location affects your chances of access.
My question for this week is: given that all these reports suggest government intervention, would the government be discriminating by location if they concentrated our money at inner-city access problems instead of rural access? Who decides the greatest need?