The team at the University of Aberdeen are responsible for research about ‘Everyday Cultural Communities’.   The projects are designed to understand how digital technology emerges out of and interacts with different kinds of communities at national and international level – some of them are locational communities (i.e. villages) and others communities of action or interest.  We are undertaking a variety of small projects which could broadly fall under this category, but there is an underlying narrative which guides much of the research, and allows each project to be placed within a certain context.  The projects were designed as horizon scanning or scoping projects rather than as stand-alone projects.

Research by the team is broadly guided by the concept of Social Quality and Digital Technologies-the framework which is presented in Claire Wallace’s paper ‘Can Information and Communications Technology enhance Social Quality?’(Wallace, 2013).  Each of our projects can be analysed through this framework, which is made up of four overlapping elements:  Digital Inclusion, Digital Social Cohesion, Online Empowerment, and Socio-economic security.  Although most of the projects contain multiple elements  we have categorised them below based upon their main contribution.

For more details on the wider CCN+ project, please see their home page.

  • Wallace, C., (2013). 'Is Social Quality enhanced by information technology and communications ? '. International Journal of Social Quality.

**This page is currently under renovation.  If you have any questions, please contact Kathryn Vincent K.L.Vincent@abdn.ac.uk

Inclusion

Digital inclusion involves projects which look at how new digital technologies are enabling people to participate in communities, including people who would have traditionally be considered excluded in other ways.  Projects which exemplify this element include:

  • David Beel’s Horizon Scanning in New Zealand in May 2013. This undertook a study of how cultural heritage is developed out of community groups and national institutions in New Zealand, including Maori and other communities. The full report can be found under  pdf
  • Claire Wallace’s report on Horizon Scanning in Finland. This looked at how Finland, with a commitment to digital citizenship, faces the challenges of a large rural areas.
  • Gabrielle’s Ivinson is looking at how children in a fishing community can connect with their own heritage link.
  • Scoping projects by Claire Wallace and Katie Vincent conducted with cultural groups at the beginning of the CCNetwork+ project to understand how community heritage groups sought to use digital communications to enhance their work link 
  • Ivan Kozachenko considered how migrant communities used online communications to facilitate migration and a sense of transnational communities docx
  • Leanne Townsend is undertaking work on gypsy travellers and their use of social media in maintain and generating community summary (report forthcoming)
Social Cohesion

Digital social cohesion is how people use technology to interact with other members of their communities.  This includes the physical communities working together to bring in technologies, and the use of these technologies to foster togetherness.  Projects which exemplify this element include:

  • Community broadband initiatives in Scotland and England link
  •  David Beel and Leanne Townsend carried out a scoping workshop in India to look at cultural heritage communities used digital communications to bring attention to their work across different ethnic and historical communities. brief (full report forthcoming)
  • Cristian Luguzan undertook a study of digital communications in a village in Scotland pdf
  • Claire Wallace undertook a study of digital communications in a Scottish community which is presented as a film link 
Empowerment

Online empowerment includes ‘communities of action’ as most of the projects involve protest and activism both in person and using new media.  Project which exemplify this element include:

  • Ivan Kozachenko’s examination of the Euro Maidan and Anti-Maidan protests in Ukraine link
  • Katie Vincent’s explored the role of the activist arts community National Collective around the Scottish referendum summary (report forthcoming)
  • Cristian Luguzan’s has been undertaking work with mining protesters in Romania. summary
  • Katie Vincent’s work with the Arab-Trans project on digital technology use in the Arab-Spring (link to project: http://www.arabtrans.eu/report forthcoming in Summer 2015)
  • Claire Wallace writing application for World Values Survey module to look at global uses of digital technology in every day life.
Socioeconomic Security

Socioeconomic security is the final element which, thus far, has not only an impact upon the projects above, but is of specific interest in our projects in rural areas.  Projects which exemplify this element include:

  • Leanne Townsend and Claire Wallace’s work on broadband access in rural areas has shown that lack of good broadband access can inhibit business and social networking link