Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Library & Information Science


Purpose: This qualitative study explores how discursive power shapes South Carolina LGBTQIA+ communities' health information practices and how participants resist this power. Design/methodology/approach: Twenty-eight LGBTQIA+ community leaders from South Carolina engaged in semi-structured interviews and information worlds mapping – a participatory arts-based elicitation technique – to capture the context underlying how they and their communities create, seek, use, and share health information. We focus on the information worlds maps for this paper, employing situational analysis – a discourse analytic method for visual data – to analyze them. Findings: Six themes emerged describing how discursive power operates both within and outside of LGBTQIA+ communities: 1) producing absence, 2) providing unwanted information, 3) commoditizing LGBTQIA+ communities, 4) condensing LGBTQIA+ people into monoliths; 5) establishing the community's normative role in information practices; 6) applying assimilationist and metronormative discourses to information sources. This power negates people's information practices with less dominant LGBTQIA+ identities and marginalized intersectional identities across locations such as race and class. Participants resisted discursive power within their maps via the following tactics: 1) (re)appropriating discourses and 2) imagining new information worlds. Originality: This study captures the perspectives of an understudied population – LGBTQIA+ persons from the American South – about a critical topic – their health – and frames these perspectives and topics within an informational context. Our use of information worlds mapping and situational analysis offers a unique and still underutilized set of qualitative methods within information science research.

APA Citation

Kitzie, V., Wagner, T.L., & Vera, A.N. (in press). Discursive power and resistance in the information worlds maps of LGBTQIA+ community leaders. Journal of Documentation.