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


  • Linda Banwell
  • Susan Elizabeth Capel




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


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.

Author Biographies

Linda Banwell

Dr Linda Banwell is Reader in lnformation and Communication Management and is currently leading the l-Society Research and Consultancy Group at Northumbria University.

Susan Elizabeth Capel

Sue Capel is undertaking her full-time doctoral research at Northumbria University. She also has professional experience of providing information to patients and the public for the NHS.




Research Articles