Advancing Information Practices Theoretical Discourses Centered on Marginality, Community, and Embodiment: Learning from the Experiences of LGBTQIA+ Communities

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This conceptual paper identifies future directions for information practices theoretical discourses addressing marginality, community, and embodiment. We extend arguments from critical research identifying how existing discourses fail to capture the nuanced, lived experiences of people and communities confronting marginalization, predominantly via their reinforcement of deficit narratives. We then connect a series of qualitative projects examining the information practices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual communities in the American South with relevant Library and Information Science (LIS) research to examine how marginality, community, and embodiment shape these practices. Specifically, we introduce a conceptual model that describes marginality by framing information practices as tactical and agentic responses to and refutations of social and structural barriers and risks. While some of the information practices of participants and communities appear to be uninformed or unsafe, they represent the products of community sharing and vetting. Embodied navigations further inform participant practices as they navigate information worlds produced and informed by their intersectional identities. These arguments coincide with key categories established within our model that describe information practices: defensive and protective, and community and self. Based on these insights, we offer directions for future research and theory to reorient existing discourses in ways that inspire middle-range theory building that fully captures people's lived experiences.

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APA Citation

Kitzie, V. L., Wagner, T.L., Lookingbill, V., & Vera, N. (2022). Advancing information practices theoretical discourses centered on marginality, community, and embodiment: Learning from the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) communities.Journal of the Association for Information Science andTechnology,73(4), 494–510.