Pamela Varley (Superfast Cornwall part funded PhD)
Title: 'A Study of the Social and Spatial Effects of Technological Transition in a Rural Village'
This project seeks to develop an advanced understanding of the interplay between broadband use, social interaction and the place in which people live. Fieldwork has involved working in an embedded manner within a central case study neighbourhood - a rural Cornish village, as well as complementary research in a number of additional villages. A wide range of methods have been employed, including social network analysis, survey research, qualitative interviewing and a diary study. Results are painting a picture of how a community is structured, how it operates (both socially and spatially), and how technology infuses with this. The reliance of a rural community on the 'local' and upon more traditional means of communication is evident at every juncture, posing an interesting question as to how superfast broadband can be made applicable in the local rural setting, harnessed as a community asset, and hence used for positive social transformation.
Director of Studies: Professor Katharine Willis
Second Supervisor: Professor Alessandro Aurigi
Third Supervisor: Nigel Ashcroft MBE