Conceptions of place in the information practices of the Mahamewnawa Asapuwa Temple community

University of Boras, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Information Research an international electronic journal, 2022, 27
Issue Date:
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The findings of a study of the information practices of devotees and monks associated with a Buddhist temple are used to examine the way place is understood, and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the conceptualisations presented in the literature. An insider approach facilitated the collection of data through interviews of monks and devotees, observations and analysis of websites and social media platforms produced by the temple community. Thematic analysis was used to analyse interview transcripts, the researcher’s field notes and online content. Place can be physical, modified by time, symbolic, created through the affordances of technology and organisational. Three categories of information practices emerged, being cultural, everyday life and organisational information practices. Existing conceptualisations of place in information research, including information grounds, information landscapes and space of flows were insufficient to cover the ways that place was expressed in this study. Understandings of place and associated information practices are tied to cultural knowledge and beliefs. The outsider researcher may only make sense of data through the use of metaphor or analogy. Further analytical and empirical work is essential to develop guidelines for establishing appropriate metaphors.
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