Jocelyn Williams

Doctor of Philosophy, (Communication)
Study Completed: 2010
Massey Business School

Citation

Thesis Title
Connecting people: Investigating a relationship between internet access and social cohesion in local community settings

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Ms Williams’ research investigated relationships between free home internet and social cohesion in local community settings. Based in two Auckland school communities, the study showed that internet use declined for participants overall, and stopped altogether for many. Yet a minority of the participants were substantial internet users and were also opinion leaders in their communities. These participants’ characteristics of being sociable and highly networked helped them to foster internet use more widely. The leadership behaviours of the highly-connected participants, along with their tendency to volunteer in their communities, in this way serving as mentors, appeared to be linked with more successful internet uptake. Ms Williams’ study concluded that for communities to make gains in social cohesion from internet use, existing social networks and leader figures should first be identified.

Supervisors
Professor Frank Sligo
Dr Faith Gray

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