Older people, information, and social networks in rural Cumbria: doctoral research in progress.

Linda Banwell, Susan Elizabeth Capel


Despite there being larger numbers of older people in
rural populations in the UK, there has been very little
research undertaken with this group. The research
uses a social ethnographic approach grounded in
information and social network theory. The paper
describes the progress so far, places the research
within a theoretical context, describes the way stage
one fieldwork was undertaken and identifies the
themes that emerged to inform stage two design. The
second stage fieldwork is described using some of the
initial findings from the observation, interview and
participant diary data collected. The paper concludes
that the research will provide a unique insight into the
social networking of information amongst active older
people in a very rural community in the rural North
Pennines and inform the planning of service provider
information provision for this population group.


older people; rural; Cumbria; social networking; information provision; service provider

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