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Information Literacy and the Scottish
Independence Referendum (2014): An
Autoethnographic Exploration of Political
Decisio...
Focal points/Outline
• Linking this research to our model of the information
literate person
• Basic facts of the referend...
Information Literate Person
• The study is part of
the ongoing
development of this
model
• Used model to
trigger reflectio...
Scottish Independence Referendum
18 September 2014
The question
• Should Scotland be an
independent nation?
• Note Scotlan...
“an approach to research and writing that seeks to
describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal
experience (auto)...
In this case
• Drawing on individual experience of engaging with
information as part of the democratic process
• From thes...
How to write autoethnography is a key issue,
and finding the approach and voice that works
for you is important
This prese...
myDemocracy:
Principle and Practice
“… the poorest he that is in England has a life to live, as
the greatest he; and there...
My Frame for Engaging with the
Referendum Campaign: A YES voter
• Independence referendum best deployed to
endorse popular...
myReferendum
A day like no other – voting day in Glasgow
Preceded by:
• Radical Independence Campaign & YES
• “Better Toge...
Political Information
Political Campaign
Open availability Restricted access
“Noise”Leaflets, canvassing.
WingsOverScotlan...
Aspects of Information Literacy
• Not just about “finding the right information”: also
about encountering, browsing, debat...
Conclusions
• Political decisions are very complex and need a well
developed concept of information literacy, which
acknow...
Sheila Webber
s.webber@shef.ac.uk
Twitter & SL: Sheila Yoshikawa
http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/
http://www.slid...
Questions
References
• Ellis, C., Adams, T.E. and Bochner, A.P. (2011).
Autoethnography: an overview. Historical Social Research,
36...
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Information Literacy and the Scottish Independence Referendum: (2014): an autoethnographic exploration of political decision-making

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Presentation by Bill Joghnston and Sheila Webber given at the European Conference on Information Literacy ECIL2015 on 21st October 2015

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Information Literacy and the Scottish Independence Referendum: (2014): an autoethnographic exploration of political decision-making

  1. 1. Information Literacy and the Scottish Independence Referendum (2014): An Autoethnographic Exploration of Political Decision-making Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber October 2015
  2. 2. Focal points/Outline • Linking this research to our model of the information literate person • Basic facts of the referendum • Autoethnography as a research approach • myReferendum experiences • Aspects of information literacy • Conclusions Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  3. 3. Information Literate Person • The study is part of the ongoing development of this model • Used model to trigger reflections on context, experience and behaviour Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  4. 4. Scottish Independence Referendum 18 September 2014 The question • Should Scotland be an independent nation? • Note Scotland has its own Parliament in Edinburgh with a range of powers devolved from the UK Government & Westminster Parliament Options • Yes = Yes • No = “Better Together”(No) • More Devolution of powers? This option was proposed by the Scottish National Party (SNP) but rejected by the UK Government and did not appear on the ballot. The vote – 85% turn out; 55 No 45 Yes. Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  5. 5. “an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience (ethno)” Ellis et al. (2011: 273) A qualitative research approach: Autoethnography Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  6. 6. In this case • Drawing on individual experience of engaging with information as part of the democratic process • From these individual reflections and experience, gain insight into the nature of information literacy and information behaviour in this process • Research evidence: Memos, mindmaps, dialogues/ interview, diagrams, documents Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  7. 7. How to write autoethnography is a key issue, and finding the approach and voice that works for you is important This presentation is part of that work in progress. Our roles in Bill’s autoethnography: insider; informed outsider; facilitator; co-investigators; developing mutual perspective on autoethnography Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  8. 8. myDemocracy: Principle and Practice “… the poorest he that is in England has a life to live, as the greatest he; and therefore truly, Sir, I think it’s clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first by his own consent to put himself under that government; …” Colonel Rainborough, London, October 1647. The Putney Debates. Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  9. 9. My Frame for Engaging with the Referendum Campaign: A YES voter • Independence referendum best deployed to endorse popular will • Needs a competent government to carry through. • Risks to my (pension ) income? • Challenging neoliberal Britain (again) • 60/40 for yes needed • If YES – negotiations become the key focus. • If NO – politics goes on Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  10. 10. myReferendum A day like no other – voting day in Glasgow Preceded by: • Radical Independence Campaign & YES • “Better Together” & NO • Mass media & “Project Fear” • Many meetings and discussions Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  11. 11. Political Information Political Campaign Open availability Restricted access “Noise”Leaflets, canvassing. WingsOverScotland website Wee Blue Book Mass media commentary Meetings: hustings, informal mtgs Campaign groups Social media e.g. Scottish Govt. “White paper” (2013) e.g. Scottish Govt. briefing papers anticipating “yes”; internal company reports Decision Persuasive arguments Yes No Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  12. 12. Aspects of Information Literacy • Not just about “finding the right information”: also about encountering, browsing, debating & reflecting • Blended information behaviour (Webber, 2013) – face to face, print, digital, thus - – Interactions between sources e.g. Twitter at meetings; Twitter trends to mass media; Website to print • My Frame for Engaging acted as a lens and filter • Simplified generalisations about “overload” or “lack of skills” or “information scarcity” distort the complexity Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  13. 13. Conclusions • Political decisions are very complex and need a well developed concept of information literacy, which acknowledges the complexity. • Media and Information Literacy concepts needed for political decision making analysis. • Autoethnography is a potentially useful approach to developing ( media ) and information literacy research. Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015
  14. 14. Sheila Webber s.webber@shef.ac.uk Twitter & SL: Sheila Yoshikawa http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/ http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/ Orcid ID 0000-0002-2280-9519 Bill Johnston Honorary Research Fellow University of Strathclyde b.johnston@strath.ac.uk All photos by Sheila Webber
  15. 15. Questions
  16. 16. References • Ellis, C., Adams, T.E. and Bochner, A.P. (2011). Autoethnography: an overview. Historical Social Research, 36 (4), 273-290 • Robertson, G. (2007). The Putney Debates. London: Verso. • Webber, S. (2013) "Blended information behaviour in Second Life." Journal of information science, 39(1), 85–100. • Webber, S. and Johnston, B. (2013) Transforming IL for HE in the 21st century: a Lifelong Learning approach. in Hepworth, M. and Walton, G. (Eds.) Developing people's information capabilities fostering information literacy in educational, workplace and community contexts. Emerald. pp.15-30. Bill Johnston and Sheila Webber, 2015

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