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Everyday Life Information Practice: Affordances and Strategies within a Facebook Group
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0193-0766
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Social networking sites are integral in reshaping how we access and interact with information and others. This doctoral thesis aims to offer an in-depth understanding of engagement in an everyday life information practice within a private Facebook group. To achieve this aim, I conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews with 20 members of a private Facebook group for foreign mothers situated in Sweden.    

The thesis consists of a framing essay and four research articles exploring different aspects of how the group has formed, managed, and navigated engagement in information activities within the Facebook group. Grounded in a sociocultural perspective of mediated action, the research draws on specialised concepts and theories to further unpack key themes in the study. These include affordances, cognitive authority, situated learning, community of practice, communication privacy management, the imagined audience, and context collapse. These concepts and theories form the theoretical framework for the thesis, enabling interpretations of members’ accounts of opportunities and challenges entailed with engagement in information activities within the Facebook group and the ways these were managed and navigated by the group.  

The findings show that the Facebook group offers a distinctive online space providing affordances that simultaneously facilitate and constrain joint information activities. The study highlights six key affordances offered by the group: visibility, persistence, associations, accessibility, invisibility, and inaccessibility. Negotiation of mutual and shared goals and rules is found to be essential for sustaining a space that facilitates members’ engagement in information activities. However, three complex phenomena within the Facebook group are highlighted as limiting and complicating this engagement: context collapse, time collapse, and spatial collapse. These phenomena relate to issues concerning lack of anonymity; control over information quality, flow, and privacy boundaries; and the presence of large, diverse, and evolving audiences. Several challenges and risks are identified as a result, relating to the assessment of information credibility, management of privacy, and management of conflicts. The study discusses strategic ways the group manages and navigates these opportunities and challenges. Overall, the study offers an understanding of the complex formation, engagement, and management of an everyday life information practice within a Facebook group. This understanding contributes theoretical and practical insights into broader discussions on the use of Facebook groups for informational purposes in everyday life. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Borås: Högskolan i Borås, 2024.
Series
Skrifter från Valfrid, ISSN 1103-6990 ; 78
Keywords [en]
social media, social networking sites, Facebook groups, information practices, sociocultural theory, affordances, cognitive authority, situated learning, community of practice, communication privacy management, imagined audience, context collapse, everyday life, parents, mothers
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-31276ISBN: 978-91-987634-5-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-987634-4-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-31276DiVA, id: diva2:1826331
Public defence
2024-04-05, C203, Allégatan 1, Borås, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2024-03-13 Created: 2024-01-11 Last updated: 2024-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Mansour, Ameera

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