The online life of individuals experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage: how do they experience information?

Smeaton, Kathleen and Bruce, Christine S. and Hughes, Hilary and Davis, Kate (2017) The online life of individuals experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage: how do they experience information? Information Research, 22 (3). p. 768.

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Introduction. This paper explores the online information experiences of individuals experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage in Australia. As access to online information becomes increasingly critical those without access are in danger of being left behind. This exploratory pilot study examines the way that digital exclusion may be experienced. Method. Phenomenology was used to examine the holistic lived experience of participants. Data were gathered through phenomenological interviews and examined to find themes that captured the essence of the participants’ lived experience. Analysis and results. Four essential themes were identified and analysed in regards to digital exclusion. The online space was experienced as endless, uncontrolled, inadequate and essential. Conclusion. This pilot study highlights the complexity of digital exclusion, with results demonstrating that links between socioeconomic disadvantage and digital exclusion cannot be assumed. An understanding of the complex nature of digital exclusion is needed if information professionals and public libraries wish to connect with, and assist individuals experiencing socio-economic disadvantage.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available through an Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Licence. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Digital Life Lab
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 06:34
Last Modified: 03 May 2018 01:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: online information experiences; disadvantaged students
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing

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