Exploring the information seeking behaviour of Muslim migrants in Scotland : a Glasgow case of study

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Introduction: Immigration is a global issue and the number of immigrants is rapidly increasing. Understanding the everyday information seeking behavior during the settlement period will facilitate the efforts to provide better relocation experience for, both, the newcomer and the host society. The purpose of this research is to understand the everyday information seeking behavior of Muslim migrants in Scotland, and the factors influencing their behaviours.Design and methodology: This research has an interdisciplinary theoretical framework brings together Wilson’s everyday information seeking behaviour model, Chatman’s information poverty theory and social capital theory. Qualitative data is collected through in-depth semi-structure interviews with 19 Muslim individuals from both genders, who variously attended 10 Islamic community centres in the Greater Glasgow area. Participants were aged between 18 and 45 years old (avg. age 29) and had all moved to Glasgow from overseas within the last 5 years. The data is interpreted and analysed through the lens of the theoretical framework and utilizing thematic analysis and narrative analysis techniques.Findings: the information needs of participants during their settlement periods in Scotland can be grouped into 13 needs categories across multiple topics placed into three groups, high occurrence needs (education, religion, and entertainment), medium occurrence needs (social norms, travel, health, and immigration), and low occurrence needs (shopping, employment, housing, financial support, driving licence, and technical support).Participants variously discussed a number of information sources utilised, grouped into 8 categories, online and friends appear to be the most preferred information sources, followed by printed material, educational professionals and staff, health professionals and staff, family, and work colleagues. Preferences for information sources were mostly influenced by the tendency to seek experiential advice, to seek through authoritative sources, to seek second opinions, to seek through trusted sources.This study provides evidence that the everyday information behaviours of the Muslim participants are largely influenced by the seekers’ identity, their feelings of being stigmatised, and issues of trust. Mosques playing an important role as an information grounds and source of social capital.Conclusion: this study provides insight into identity as a significant influencing factor in the information behaviours of Muslim migrants to Scotland, and the associated role of Mosques as important information grounds. Findings illustrate that identify has a positive trust related role when associated with experiential advice, and a negative role when associated with experiences and/or perceptions of stigma that can limit access to information. Recommendations are made for further investigation of issues of identity and stigma with further groups. Findings also have implications for the effective dissemination of important public information to Muslim migrants to Scotland (e.g. health, education, employment), and raise important questions regarding the role of Mosques. Again, recommendations are made for further research.
Date of Award4 Jun 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorSteven Buchanan (Supervisor) & Ian Ruthven (Supervisor)

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