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

Article


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

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

ERA Journal ID17906
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsSmeaton, Kathleen (Author), Bruce, Christine S., Hughes, Hilary (Author) and Davis, Kate (Author)
Journal TitleInformation Research: an international electronic journal
Journal Citation22 (3), p. 768
Year2017
Place of PublicationSweden
ISSN1368-1613
Web Address (URL)http://www.informationr.net/ir/22-3/paper768.html
Abstract

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.

Keywordsonline information experiences; disadvantaged students
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390405. Educational technology and computing
Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Digital Life Lab
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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