Community Well-Being and Information Technology

Claire Wallace, Kathryn Louise Vincent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter is based upon how information and communications technologies (ICT) can help enhance the well-being of communities by promoting societal quality which we analyse as: socio-economic security, social cohesion, social inclusion and social empowerment. Digital communications can facilitate each of these dimensions by enabling common events and projects to be shared, promote social capital by enabling better networking within the community, and improve communications with external agencies and people. It is argued that although ICT has the potential to enhance community well-being, this also depends upon the way in which communities engage with it and how this relates to social relationships within the community. In general we argue that rather than creating isolation and dislocation, ICT affordances can help to generate a sense of place and are becoming increasingly important in understanding of the meaning of locality.

The research provides a study of four rural communities in the UK (Scotland and England). Rural communities present an interesting case in these kinds of digital communications, being often bypassed by the “information highway” (unless they set it up themselves). These case studies focus upon communities that have mobilised to provide broadband technology and how it can be used to promote contrasting types of community well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Community Well-Being Research
EditorsRhonda Phillips, Cecilia Wong
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-024-0878-2
ISBN (Print)978-94-024-0876-8
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameInternational Handbooks of Quality-of-Life

Bibliographical note

The research was funded by the EPSRC UK Research Council Rural Digital Economy Research Hub EP/K003585 and EPSRC Communities and Cultures Network+ EP/GO66051suggestions.


  • Information technology
  • Social quality
  • Social cohesion
  • Empowerment
  • Social inclusion


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