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

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

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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.

Item ID: 53379
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1368-1613
Keywords: information experience, socioeconomic disadvantage, digital divide, digital inequality
Additional Information:

This is an open access article distrubuted under Creative Commons License 3.0 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 23:55
FoR Codes: 08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080703 Human Information Behaviour @ 34%
08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080706 Librarianship @ 33%
08 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 0807 Library and Information Studies > 080799 Library and Information Studies not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8903 Information Services > 890301 Electronic Information Storage and Retrieval Services @ 34%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8903 Information Services > 890302 Library and Archival Services @ 33%
91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9102 Microeconomics > 910209 Preference, Behaviour and Welfare @ 33%
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