"People Have Died To Get Us To Where We Are"

Combating Aging Services Information Marginalization Alongside LGBT+ Older Adults





Aging services, Community-based participatory research, Information marginalization, LGBT older adults, Organizational information practices


We live in an aging society, but lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender plus (LGBT+) people often lack equitable access to aging-related information and services. Systematic barriers to information, or information marginalization, has been described as affecting various populations including LGBT+ people; organizations perpetuate it, but research often ignores their role in addressing it. The purpose of this study is to combat aging services information marginalization in partnership with LGBT+ older adults and community-based organizations. Utilizing concepts from Information Marginalization Theory and a community-based participatory research design, this study asks LGBT+ older adults what they see as their aging-related needs, what barriers they see to getting those needs met, and what practices they would like to see providers use to help remove those barriers. Thematic analysis of interviews with 25 LGBT+ older adults 50 years and older in East Tennessee produced 5 need, 7 marginalization, and 4 practice themes which served as the basis for a strategic plan to improve aging services to this population. Nineteen of those 25 interviewees discussed and finalized the strategic plan across 5 focus groups. A constructivist grounded theory analysis of all of the interviews, focus groups, and the author’s participant researcher data resulted in an 8 point model for combating information marginalization that may be implemented with marginalized people in various contexts. This study contributes to a social justice understanding of action and design theory, expands action research methodology, and brings attention to a fast growing population that is understudied in library and information science.


Author Biography

  • Joseph Winberry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Joseph Winberry is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Information and Library Science. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's College of Communication & Information. 






Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Poster Competition