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Illiterata invandrares informationspraktiker
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Illiterate Immigrants Information Practices (English)
Abstract [en]

The subject of this two year Master's thesis in Library and Information Science is the information practices of illiterate immigrants in everyday life. The purpose is to examine how immigrants seek, identify, understand and value information sources and information, and how the practices have changed with their arrival in Sweden. It furthermore focuses on the barriers that illiterate immigrants meet in accessing and understanding information. It moreover investigates the strategies they use to overcome them.

For this purpose twelve qualitative research interviews were carried out, with illiterate immigrants as well as with service providers. The theoretical concepts of the essay is information practices, which means that the information process is within a context, and information poverty, that people in different context do not have adequate and equal access to information and information sources.

Using McKenzie's model of information practices, the essay concludes that illiterate immigrants are active in their information process, especially when they interact with information. The most commonly used information practice is to seek out and ask for help in their social network. They use service providers to explain written information. In addition to actively seeking out people to help them, they use a variety of information practices. They use Internet on their smartphones. Some of them use a translator app to translate letters and communicate with others. They use Facebook and watch TV. They also use other visual sources. Their information practices function as strategies to cope with barriers connected to illiteracy. They utilize their social network that possesses writing and reading skills to help them read and explain. Other strategies are to use numbers and to learn things by heart.

Although the illiterate immigrants use a variety of practices and strategies, they still do not get adequate and equal access to information and therefore can be called information poor. Their social network is a resource, but it can also be a limitation. They risk lacking information about intangible things. But they do not, opposed to Chatman's theory, keep their needs concealed. One participant differed from the others in this aspect, since he expressed an unwillingness to ask. He was also troubled by his illiteracy. He perceived himself as being more limited because of it. The interpretation of this is that he lives in a more literate world than the other participants. Therefore is he able to realize what he lacks.

It is important to give illiterate immigrants adequate and equal information. This essay thus suggests that institutions seek to adapt their information services to the practices and strategies that the group acquires and uses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 68 p.
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 666
Keyword [en]
Immigrants, Illiterate persons, Information behavior, Information-seeking behavior
Keyword [sv]
invandrare, analfabetism, informationsbeteende, informationssökning
National Category
Information Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253701Local ID: 666OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-253701DiVA: diva2:815633
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Available from: 2015-06-02 Created: 2015-06-01 Last updated: 2015-06-02Bibliographically approved

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