INFORMATION PRACTICES DURING LIFE TRANSITION: KOREAN IMMIGRANT WOMEN’S EVERYDAY LIFE INFORMATION SEEKING AND ACCULTURATION
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In this dissertation, I explore information practices during life transition in the context of immigration. This study aims to understand how their unique personal, social, and life contexts shape immigration experiences, and how these diverse contexts are related to various information practices that they engage in to resolve daily information needs and achieve immigration goals. In my study I examined daily information needs and acquisition of Korean immigrant women. Data were collected through two interview sessions, diary entries on everyday information seeking up to three weeks, post-diary debriefing interviews to reveal contexts surrounding information practices, and observation sessions. My study shows that one’s accumulated experiences with information-related situations shape the person’s attitudes toward diverse information resources and habitual information practices. Both personal and social contexts surrounding immigrant women change during life transition and shape how they interpret their immigration experiences, what information they need to deal with both daily and long-term goals, and how they modify their information practices to obtain the relevant information in an unfamiliar information environment. Also, life transition of immigration entails changes in immigrant women’s social roles, which engender their daily responsibilities in the new society. These daily responsibilities motivate immigrant women’s everyday interactions with a variety of communities in order to exchange information and conduct their social roles in the new sociocultural environment. While immigrant women had common information needs around culture learning, social roles and associated responsibilities explain differences in their differing information needs and tend to direct daily information practices. The advancement of ICTs allows immigrant women to conduct their social roles in a remote city as well as to maintain multiple connections with both the heritage and host society. Limited cultural knowledge influences immigrant women’s evaluation and use of the obtained information as well as their acquisition of relevant information. This study provides understandings on the role of information during life transition as well as Korean immigrant women’s information practices.