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The Internet has brought massive changes to human lives. Among the various positive and negative influences are the rural-urban digital divide, which refers to the information technology gap between rural and urban areas. The Korean government has made several effortS to close this digital divide. The main goal of this study is to identify how the personal and social lives of rural residents are affected by IT development in rural areas, and how the residents perceive the effect of IT development. To accomplish this goal, a survey research was conducted. A questionnaire was developed based on the current body of literature, and used to collect data. The questionnaire was distributed to rural residents in Korea and 272 responses our of a total of 300 collected were usable. Regression analysis methods were used for the analysis. On the analysis where the IT development index was used as an independent variable, positive relationships were found between the independent variables and some dependent variables such as perceived usefulness for jobs, IT usage skills, and tendencies of rural to urban migration. Findings show that rural residents are worried that IT development in rural areas may cause job loss in their respective communities, and decrease social interaction. However, positive perceptions were also apparent, as participants believed IT is useful for communications within the community, as well as better education and medical services.

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In: Asian International Studies Review