Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In-class lecture: Dervin and Chatman


* "Community information system as an organic whole compromised of individuals, their information needs and problems, information sources, and solutions to needs and problems."
* Identified barriers to acces: “societal, institutional, physical, psychological, and intellectual barriers."


Four key concepts of the behavior of marginalized populations

* Deception
* Risk taking
* Situational relevance
* Secrecy

Chatman theorized that the information poor do certain things and react certain ways which perpetuate the cycle of lack of information. They see themselves as unable to obtains information sources. It is also associated with class distiction. Behaviors that are meant to protect themselves and their families, like secrecy and deception, from the outside world create barriers.

Chatman defines Life in the round: "A public form of life in which things are implicitly understood." People living in the round shy away from crossing boundaries to access information and help. Life is predictable, and therefore safe, so members have no incentives for improving their life. Basically, life in the round is a situation that impedes its members from moving up in life.
-Concepts of Life in the Round
1. Small world
2. Social norms
3. Social types
4. Worldview

"How did Elfreda Chatman’s theories about Information Poverty and Life in the Round match the experiences of the Collins family in the documentary Legacy?"

Life in the round is a perpetuation of poverty. There is no incentive to leave or improve your life. This is similar to Legacy in the fact that the Collins family stayed on welfare for a long period of time. Alaissa did not get a job in part because she was afraid of living without welfare. The family also fits the mold of the information poor because, apart from Nickcole, they see themselves as deviod of any means of attaining information and construct walls to protect themselves that at the same time prevent them from escaping Henry Horner

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