Developing and sustaining a sense of place: The role of social information

Christina Williamson, Julie Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


This exploration of the role of information in helping people to develop and sustain feelings of belonging, or a sense of place, is based on a study that investigated the reasons for the high population turnover in the Northern Territory of Australia. The Northern Territory along with Darwin, its capital, has a number of unusual characteristics including geographical isolation. A key component of the theoretical framework for the research focuses on social information, which has similarities to the more commonly termed everyday life information. The specific concern is with the kind of information that helps people connect to a community and is clearly linked with social networking. The sample for the major empirical component for the article was recruited at Darwin's Mindil Beach Market. In telephone phone interviews with those who had agreed to participate, participants discussed how they learned about Darwin and the Northern Territory, and their views of Darwin as a place to live. Interpersonal contacts, including at the Market and at special events, were most often mentioned in relation to information, confirming literature findings on the importance of family and friends as an information source. Other sources were newspapers and physical markers around the City of Darwin. The conclusion is that the processes of social networking, which work well for some residents, could be enhanced through the use of information grounds, a concept widely discussed in the library and information science literature. Obvious information grounds in Darwin, where the usual processes could be enhanced by the distribution of information by formal information providers, include Mindil Beach Market and the special events for which Darwin is renowned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalLibrary & Information Science Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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