A grounded theory of information exclusion and information inclusion: framing the information experience of people seeking asylum

Le Louvier, Kahina and Innocenti, Perla (2023) A grounded theory of information exclusion and information inclusion: framing the information experience of people seeking asylum. Journal of Documentation, 79 (2). pp. 468-486. ISSN 0022-0418

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-04-2022-0077


This paper discusses an original theory of information exclusion and information inclusion, which explains how information interactions can be structured in ways that either exclude or include people seeking asylum.

This theory was developed through an ethnographic study of the information experience of people seeking asylum in the United Kingdom. Fieldwork involved participant observations, participatory research workshops and semi-structured interviews, analysed using a constructivist grounded theory approach.

People seeking asylum are confronted with two main information environments: the asylum system and the local third sector. Each environment frames contrasting information access, sharing and literacy practice modalities: the former produces information deprivation, information sharing agency denial and a fracturing information literacy practice; the latter facilitates multiple information affordances, information sharing agency promotion, and both local and heritage information literacy practice promotion. Our theory of information exclusion and information inclusion describes how through these modalities, an information environment can either promote or preclude inclusion.

Previous information studies of migration tend to conceptualise social ex/inclusion as a linear journey. Our theory originally frames this as a non-straightforward and conflicting process, allowing to better understand the experience of people who are not simply either socially excluded or included, but may experience both states depending on context. It also shows that exclusion is not a matter of fact and is not fundamental to asylum systems: it is produced by specific policies and procedures and can therefore be changed. Thus, this theory provides conceptual tools for researchers to investigate the information experience of individuals moving between conflicting information practices, and for civil society actors and policymakers to document exclusionary information practices and design inclusive ones.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information practices, Information literacy, Refugees, Migrants, Asylum seekers, Social inclusion, Social exclusion, Integration
Subjects: G500 Information Systems
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2022 12:33
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2023 16:00
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/49853

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