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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS062029)

Implications of Elfreda A. Chatman’s Viewpoint for User Studies
No.62, p.29-80
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Purpose and Method: The purpose of this study was to elucidate the implications of Elfreda A. s s Chatman’viewpoint for user studies. This study tries to understand Chatman’study by dividing it into a Pre-Theoretical Period and a Theoretical Period. First, what she attempted to discuss in the Pre-Theoretical Period is delineated. Based upon this understanding, an integrated interpretation of her theories is provided, then the implications of her viewpoint for the development of user studies are discussed.

Results: At the end of the Pre-Theoretical Period, Chatman made a discovery which indicated that the maintenance of interpersonal relationships was always a primary concern of poor people during information seeking and use (ISU), rather than relying on such relationships without any inhibition. This discovery led her to a new way of looking at information poverty and ISU of the poor, which was developed in the ensuring period. Chatman developed her new understanding of ISU in the Theoretical Period. This distinct understanding, not like past studies, focused on ISU as a part of “taken-for-granted life”This understanding contributed to the advance of user studies maintaining a . because it made it possible to capture intersubjectivity and reflexitivity between ISU and society. This is one of the implications of her viewpoint. Three future research issues can be elicited as implications other than those of Chatman’s theories. The first is to expand the subject of analysis, especially analysis of ISU in organizations. The second is to explore the process of creation and revision of knowledge, beyond merely exploring the use and maintenance of knowledge as Chatman did. The third is to analyze more deeply the interrelationship between ISU and its situation.

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