Older people, social networks and information behaviour

Capel, Sue (2010) Older people, social networks and information behaviour. Masters thesis, Northumbria University.

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The study aim was to explore the information behaviour of older people living in a rural location in order to understand how they exchanged information through their social networks and social activities. The study provides a unique contribution to research with its emphasis on information exchange in a remote rural context based on the perspectives of older people. The approach was interpretative, using a phenomenological, interactionist methodological framework, taking account of social constructionist and critical realist philosophical perspectives and grounded in information behaviour theories and models. The ethnographic methodology, combining qualitative data collection methods, emphasized the lifestyle, the participants, the information and the contexts. Data were summarized thematically within the four global headings, "Lifestyle", "People", "Information" and "Place" and further themes and sub-themes reflected both the common and individual viewpoints of the participants. The key findings were that older people relied on family and close friends (strong ties) for support, advice and personal information. They preferred to exchange practical, local information about regular activities and local services interpersonally within their close social network groups and during social activity. This information was often available through more casual contacts (weak ties) facilitating information flow through social networks and social activities in both formal and informal information grounds. Informal information grounds, such as the Age Concern coffee morning, proved to be the most successful, where all the positive elements, including an informal atmosphere, the presence of close friends, casual contacts and a variety of information resources were present in one place. The „Model of Information Behaviour amongst Older People in a Rural Setting?, highlights the contextual and social influences affecting information behaviour, the means by which information is exchanged, the types of information exchanged, and the way in which social information grounds are successful for older people.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Older people, Information behavior, Older people-Communication, Older people-Social networks
Subjects: P100 Information Services
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
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Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 24 May 2010 08:54
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 13:41
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3117

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