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Article
Publication date: 19 March 2021

Cato Waeterloos, Jonas De Meulenaere, Michel Walrave and Koen Ponnet

Following the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many forms of bottom-up civic action emerged as ways to collectively “flatten the curve” and tackle the…

Abstract

Purpose

Following the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many forms of bottom-up civic action emerged as ways to collectively “flatten the curve” and tackle the crisis. In this paper, the authors examine to what extent local online and offline social integration contributes to civic participation, above and beyond typical predictors such as news consumption and civic talk.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was administered among 7,137 users of the online neighbourhood network (ONN) Hoplr in Flanders (i.e. the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) from 8 May to 18 May 2020. Regression analyses were used to examine how local social integration, in addition to news consumption, civic talk and political antecedents, predict different types of civic participation.

Findings

The results show consistent positive associations between news consumption, civic talk and civic participation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the role of political antecedents varied across different forms of civic participation. Further, the results point to the importance of both offline and online local social integration in explaining civic participation.

Originality/value

This study provides much-needed insight in the societal and democratic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results confirm the importance of local social integration in explaining civic participation, while also advancing theoretical understanding of more established predictors of civic participation, such as news consumption and interpersonal communication.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-08-2020-0379.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2011

Abstract

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Eveline Hage, Hans Wortmann, Marjolein van Offenbeek and Albert Boonstra

In today’s aging world online communication is often viewed as a means to enhance social connectivity, and therefore well-being, of older adults. However, previous…

Abstract

Purpose

In today’s aging world online communication is often viewed as a means to enhance social connectivity, and therefore well-being, of older adults. However, previous research on the influence of online communication on social connectivity largely disregards older adults, yields conflicting results and fails to assess the – debatable − causal direction of relationship. The purpose of this paper is to overcome these issues by developing four hypotheses related to who uses what, how, with whom.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a panel data study to test the hypotheses, including 302 older adults. Response rates are between 62 and 75 percent.

Findings

The authors find, first, that older adults differentiate between social connectivity with other village members, i.e., village connectivity, and connectivity with friends. Second, the impact of online communication varies among these two types of social connectivity. Where e-mail use has a negative impact on village connectivity, it does not affect connectivity with friends. Facebook use on the other hand has a negative impact on connectivity with friends, but not on village connectivity. The negative effects were not found among those older adults that were already well-connected on forehand, indicating a buffer effect.

Practical/implications

Policy makers’ implementing online communication tools to strengthen social connectivity of older adults, may want to carefully select tools based on the type of connectivity they aim to enhance. Impact needs to be monitored.

Originality/value

The authors contribute by analyzing how characteristics of online communication tools, i.e., information richness and privacy protection, as well as social connectivity, i.e., geographical proximity and emotional closeness jointly shape older adults’ social connectivity.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Mousa Abu Kashef, Athula Ginige and Ana Hol

The purpose of this paper was to develop a framework of working-together relations and investigate ways to enhance working-together relations among people, organisations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to develop a framework of working-together relations and investigate ways to enhance working-together relations among people, organisations, communities and neighbourhoods using working-together applications. Today, people in communities, neighbourhoods and constituencies often work together in a coalition of public, private and non-profit institutions. The technology used today has enabled new forms of communications and collaboration. The rapid growth of mobile technologies and interactive, collaborative applications based on Web technologies has enabled the development of new approaches to derive and share organisational and local knowledge. Not all of these applications have succeeded; after a certain time, users tend to stop using online applications that do not assist them in developing collaborative practices with their team members.

Design/methodology/approach

To better understand the essential characteristics of a successful online application that effectively supports people to work together, the authors undertook an inductive analysis of related literature and existing social media application.

Findings

By combining and categorising the findings, it was possible to articulate the characteristics associated with four identified categories of working-together relations: networking, coordination, cooperation and collaboration. The study also identified essential activities that are performed in each working-together category and the factors that enable successful working-together relations: trust, risk and rewards.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies will look into how applications could be further enhanced, so that, for example, an application that is currently classified as “coordination” could be improved and the required characteristics of “collaboration” could be met.

Practical implications

It is expected that the framework derived will assist in the design of successful online applications to support different categories of working-together relations.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this study is a new framework that can now be used to identify how effective an existing application can be in assisting the working-together relations.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2016

Ana Campos-Holland, Brooke Dinsmore and Jasmine Kelekay

This paper introduces two methodological innovations for qualitative research. We apply these innovations to holistically understand youth peer cultures and improve…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper introduces two methodological innovations for qualitative research. We apply these innovations to holistically understand youth peer cultures and improve participant-driven qualitative methodology.

Methodology/approach

It moves the methodological frontier forward by blending technology with the “go-along” approach used by ethnographers to prioritize participants’ perspectives and experiences within their socio-cultural contexts.

Findings

We introduce the youth-centered and participant-driven virtual tours, including a neighborhood tour using Google Maps designed to explore how youth navigate their socio-spatial environments (n = 64; 10–17 year-olds; 2013) and a social media tour designed to explore how youth navigate their networked publics (n = 50; 10–17 year-olds; 2013), both in relation to their local peer cultures.

Originality/value

Applicable to a wide range of research populations, the Google Maps tour and the social media tour give the qualitative researcher additional tools to conduct participant-driven research into youths’ socio-cultural worlds. These two innovations help to address challenges in youth research as well as qualitative research more broadly. We find, for example, that the “go-along” aspect of the virtual tour minimizes the perceived threat of the researcher’s adult status and brings youth participants’ perspectives and experiences to the center of inquiry in the study of local peer cultures.

Details

Communication and Information Technologies Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-785-1

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Book part
Publication date: 7 September 2008

Lara Belkind

This article relates the recent rise of weblogs and examines their relationship to processes of urban transformation. Specifically, it looks at the history of Curbed.com

Abstract

This article relates the recent rise of weblogs and examines their relationship to processes of urban transformation. Specifically, it looks at the history of Curbed.com, a weblog created in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan that presents a layman's perspective on real estate development and neighborhood change. Curbed began in 2001 as the personal blog of a local resident documenting the gentrification taking hold on the blocks surrounding his walk-up tenement apartment. It has since become more established, expanding to cover development in other New York neighborhoods and spawning franchises in San Francisco and Los Angeles. This inquiry seeks to examine what influence, if any, Curbed.com has had upon the neighborhood transition it has closely charted. This question is one aspect of larger questions about the relationship between virtual space and urban space; about the impact of growing use of the internet on the city. Has Curbed been a neutral observer of neighborhood change as it professes? By raising awareness of the processes underlying urban transition, has it provided any opportunities for community action to buffer gentrification? Or is the opposite true – have it and other neighborhood blogs contributed to the new desirability and market value of the Lower East Side? I would argue that although Curbed.com has increased the ability of local residents to understand the changes taking place around them, in the end it has helped accelerate gentrification by repositioning a site of local culture within a global market.

Details

Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-418-8

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Abstract

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Digital Media and the Greek Crisis
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-328-9

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2015

Romana Xerez

How does social capital matter to the creation of neighbourhood networks in cities? Social housing in Portugal is some times viewed as a single architectural and building…

Abstract

How does social capital matter to the creation of neighbourhood networks in cities? Social housing in Portugal is some times viewed as a single architectural and building environment development failure. This article discusses a relevant Portuguese urban planning landscape and aims to contribute to the discussion of one of its main purpose – the social housing experiment. The author discusses the case of this landscape as urban policy-making and evaluates its implementation and relevance. She hypothesizes that “neighbourhood units” have become a relevant case in the context of neighbourhood planning and housing social-mix in Lisbon. Firstly, she uses theoretical arguments and findings to discuss an urban experiment - Alvalade Landscape. Secondly, the paper analyses relevant data that demonstrates its links to the housing policies thus enriching the urban design. The article offers evidence from the Alvalade Landscape case study in Lisbon of theoretical and empirical community ties in the 1940s. Thirdly, the paper identifies some elements such as community units, social mix, sidewalks, and that have an impact on neighbourhood design as well as people’s lives. The findings show that supportive neighbour ties provide important network resources (social capital) concerning daily life, illness, support or financial aid. Finally, the paper suggests the relevance that social neighbourhood community has in housing programs and policies.

Details

Open House International, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

David G. Hendry, Jill Palzkill Woelfer and Thuy Duong

Addressing the question, how might socio-technical systems help homeless young people to succeed broadly in employment, the purpose of this paper is to present a future…

Abstract

Purpose

Addressing the question, how might socio-technical systems help homeless young people to succeed broadly in employment, the purpose of this paper is to present a future vision, the U-District Job Co-op, where youth take on “mini-jobs” offered by neighborhood stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on value sensitive design, design-based, and qualitative research methods, the Job Co-op is explicated by reporting on three linked studies.

Findings

First, based on empirical research with varied neighborhood stakeholders, barriers and possible solutions to employment for homeless young people are presented. Second, three design insights for shaping a solution space of socio-technical systems for job search are presented and used analytically to examine six existing systems. Third, findings from a co-design study in which homeless young people expressed their understandings for web-based job services explicate the vision of the Job Co-op.

Social implications

This study offers a socio-technical approach, grounded in the neighborhood context, for supporting homeless young people in job search and related activities.

Originality/value

The studies reported in this paper demonstrate how methods for information system design can be used to generate and clarify opportunities for human benefit and for the development of socio-technical systems that account for human values.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2021

Samrat Gupta and Swanand Deodhar

Communities representing groups of agents with similar interests or functions are one of the essential features of complex networks. Finding communities in real-world…

Abstract

Purpose

Communities representing groups of agents with similar interests or functions are one of the essential features of complex networks. Finding communities in real-world networks is critical for analyzing complex systems in various areas ranging from collaborative information to political systems. Given the different characteristics of networks and the capability of community detection in handling a plethora of societal problems, community detection methods represent an emerging area of research. Contributing to this field, the authors propose a new community detection algorithm based on the hybridization of node and link granulation.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed algorithm utilizes a rough set-theoretic concept called closure on networks. Initial sets are constructed by using neighborhood topology around the nodes as well as links and represented as two different categories of granules. Subsequently, the authors iteratively obtain the constrained closure of these sets. The authors use node mutuality and link mutuality as merging criteria for node and link granules, respectively, during the iterations. Finally, the constrained closure subsets of nodes and links are combined and refined using the Jaccard similarity coefficient and a local density function to obtain communities in a binary network.

Findings

Extensive experiments conducted on twelve real-world networks followed by a comparison with state-of-the-art methods demonstrate the viability and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

Research limitations/implications

The study also contributes to the ongoing effort related to the application of soft computing techniques to model complex systems. The extant literature has integrated a rough set-theoretic approach with a fuzzy granular model (Kundu and Pal, 2015) and spectral clustering (Huang and Xiao, 2012) for node-centric community detection in complex networks. In contributing to this stream of work, the proposed algorithm leverages the unexplored synergy between rough set theory, node granulation and link granulation in the context of complex networks. Combined with experiments of network datasets from various domains, the results indicate that the proposed algorithm can effectively reveal co-occurring disjoint, overlapping and nested communities without necessarily assigning each node to a community.

Practical implications

This study carries important practical implications for complex adaptive systems in business and management sciences, in which entities are increasingly getting organized into communities (Jacucci et al., 2006). The proposed community detection method can be used for network-based fraud detection by enabling experts to understand the formation and development of fraudulent setups with an active exchange of information and resources between the firms (Van Vlasselaer et al., 2017). Products and services are getting connected and mapped in every walk of life due to the emergence of a variety of interconnected devices, social networks and software applications.

Social implications

The proposed algorithm could be extended for community detection on customer trajectory patterns and design recommendation systems for online products and services (Ghose et al., 2019; Liu and Wang, 2017). In line with prior research, the proposed algorithm can aid companies in investigating the characteristics of implicit communities of bloggers or social media users for their services and products so as to identify peer influencers and conduct targeted marketing (Chau and Xu, 2012; De Matos et al., 2014; Zhang et al., 2016). The proposed algorithm can be used to understand the behavior of each group and the appropriate communication strategy for that group. For instance, a group using a specific language or following a specific account might benefit more from a particular piece of content than another group. The proposed algorithm can thus help in exploring the factors defining communities and confronting many real-life challenges.

Originality/value

This work is based on a theoretical argument that communities in networks are not only based on compatibility among nodes but also on the compatibility among links. Building up on the aforementioned argument, the authors propose a community detection method that considers the relationship among both the entities in a network (nodes and links) as opposed to traditional methods, which are predominantly based on relationships among nodes only.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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