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Comunicar Journal 43: Media Prosumers (Vol. 22 - 2014)

Perceived social support as a factor of rural women’s digital inclusion in online social networks


María-Ángelez Rebollo-Catalán

Alba Vico-Bosch


This article presents the results of a study on the digital inclusion of rural women in social networks. Its main objective is to understand the social support perceived by these women within online social networks and its relation to digital inclusion, considering also whether there are differences in the degree of support depending on age, family status and employment status. To do this, we applied two scales measuring perceived social support and digital inclusion to 478 women from rural areas of Andalusia aged 18 to 65. The results showed a medium level of support, with significant differences found in the social support perceived by women depending on their age, family status and employment status. Women, who were young, students, single, with no children and who use Tuenti and Facebook perceived a higher level of social support in social networks. We also observed a strong relation between perceived social support and the digital inclusion of women in social networks, with similarities appearing in studies carried out in different contexts and social groups. The discussion looks at implications for the formation of an active and participatory citizenship of women in social networks.


Social networks, rural women, digital inclusion, women’s studies, social capital, digital divide, digital literacy, lifelong learning