Theorists within and outside LIS observe that neither information nor experience is usefully conceived as stable entities. This chapter focuses instead on experiencing and considers how people respond interactively within situations in flux, using that perspective to explore sense making. Methodologically guided by Dervin, ethnomethodology and practice theory, I spent two years participating in online discussion groups where people discussed experiences of kidney failure. I use content analysis of textual interactions to demonstrate the centrality of experiences in the discussions, followed by thematic analysis to explore why experiencing appeared to be central to sense making. I found that contributors described active and reactive responses to environments, in which emotions, understanding and other forms of experiencing forged and ‘mangled’ each other, processes which I interpret using metaphors from practice theory. These iterative processes, though painful at times, apparently kept contributors’ understandings connected to their experiences of reality. Therefore this chapter extends understandings of the centrality of experiential and embodied aspects of sense making, while also addressing problems with using static metaphors and methods to explore dynamic processes.
The author gratefully acknowledges the support of IHateDialysis, AustralianDialysisBuddies and KidneyKorner, and members of those forums. She received helpful feedback from the anonymous reviewers, Sharyn Wise, Hilary Hughes and Emma Cannen, and benefited from conversations on the topic with Suyin Hor and Marie Manidis. This research was supported by an APA Scholarship from the Australian Commonwealth Government.
Godbold, N. (2014), "Experiential Brutality in Sense Making: Researching Dynamic Sense Making Processes in Online Discussions about Kidney Failure", Information Experience: Approaches to Theory and Practice (Library and Information Science, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 151-167. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1876-056220140000010008Download as .RIS
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