The impact of social class and status on citizenship information need: the results of two national surveys of the population of the United Kingdom.
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MARCELLA, R. and BAXTER, G., 2000. The impact of social class and status on citizenship information need: the results of two national surveys of the population of the United Kingdom. Journal of Information Science, July 2000, 26(4), pp.239-254.
This paper reports the key results of the Citizenship Information research project funded by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre. This research comprised two large-scale surveys of the citizenship information needs of the UK public. The paper focuses upon the detailed analysis and examination of the results as they related to issues of social class and status. The research revealed that social class and status had an impact upon information need and information seeking behaviour, although the pattern emerging was not a simple one. Certain social classes and status groups were not exploiting public library information resources as effectively as they might; equally, certain groups were less willing (or able) to take advantage of new technologies to access information and participate in democratic activities. Those groups most willing to use a range of information sources were more conscious of disadvantage resulting from a lack of information. The paper concludes that there is a real danger of exclusion for certain groups of the UK population and that information policy must reflect an awareness of the most appropriate patterns of information dissemination in order to overcome barriers to access for each of these.