Re-Thinking Our Concept Of Users

Publisher:
Australian Library & Information Assoc Ltd
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 2009, 40 (1), pp. 22 - 35
Issue Date:
2009-01
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This article provides a critical analysis of some of the key theories and assumptions that underpin prevailing approaches to the concept of 'information user' in contemporary information research and professional practice, suggesting that they continue to reflect a tacitly systems-oriented focus. The author draws on the Sense-Making theories of Brenda Dervin and the discourse analytic work of Michel Foucault, as well as his own research, to outline a more holistic approach to understanding the complex relationship between people, information, and their social context. This recommendation includes a greater focus on context, on long-term relationships, and the complex role of emotion and embodiment in people's sense-making.
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