NATURALIZING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN INFORMATION STUDIES
Researchers and professionals in the information fields are increasingly recognizing that they should engage themselves more closely with local, marginalized and under-empowered communities in addressing a range of challenges in diverse information contexts. Education employing critical pedagogy and dialogic action can provide a fertile ground for preparing future graduates for such engagement, and break down over-simplified dichotomies between academic and external community identities. The authors argue that non-traditional, mutually beneficial partnerships between grassroots communities and graduate students in information studies that have been nurtured through this pedagogical approach can help to raise students' consciousness of and sensitivity to authentic grassroots community information needs. At the same time, such activities can provide communities with a low-overhead entry-point into academic partnerships. In support of this argument, and using a basic qualitative descriptive approach, the authors provide a picture of the complex of community–student collaborations undertaken with a social justice orientation by information studies students at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Information Studies,University of California, Los Angeles, 212 GSEIS Bldg., Box 951520Los Angeles,CA,90095-1520, USA 3:2:
Publication date: September 1, 2012