Information technology and social cohesion: a tale of two villages

Claire Wallace, Kathryn Vincent, Cristian Luguzan, Leanne Townsend, David Beel

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35 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


The study is about social cohesion in rural communities and how
this interacts with Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Social cohesion is considered in terms of both system integration and social integration. System integration includes business and cultural organisations, civil society and communal spaces on and offline, which can provide bridging mechanisms to bring together disparate social groups. Social integration refers to more informal mechanisms of inclusion, including social networks, a sense of belonging, commitment to the common good. The paper considers these elements of social cohesion in relation to the intertwining of on and offline relationships by examining two contrasting rural communities in Northern Scotland. The paper concludes that ICT can play very different roles in social cohesion for different social and cultural groups as well as for different kinds of locational communities, but that ICT is becoming an integral part of rural social relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-434
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Early online date4 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

This research was made possible by a grant from the EPSRC “Dot.Rural Digital Economy Hub” (EP/G066051/1) at the University of Aberdeen and EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+ (EP/K003585/1).


  • social capital
  • social cohesion
  • rural communities
  • quality of life
  • ICT
  • social and system integration


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