Information, identitet, medborgarskap : unga kvinnor berättar om val av preventivmedel
Sammanfattning: The aim of this thesis is to study how young women’s information literacies are enacted in practices related to evaluation and use of information sources before choosing a contraceptive and thereby to discuss how these practices relate to the young women’s sexual and civic identities. A sociocultural perspective, which brings with it a view on information literacy as contingent and enacted in practices, is adopted. The thesis is a compilation consisting of four articles and an introduction. Guiding research questions are: 1) How is information negotiated in decisions about contraceptives during counselling meetings between young women and midwives at youth centres? 2) How is knowledge produced and what roles do their bodies play, during the midwives’ and the young women’s interaction? 3) What information literacy practices do the young women talk about when telling their stories about evaluation and use of information sources? 4) How can interviewing be designed to study information literacy in everyday life within a sociocultural perspective? 5) How can the stories told by the young women about choosing and using a contraceptive be related to their stories about themselves and their sexual and civic identities? An ethnographic approach was used. The material includes recordings of 10 counselling meetings, 19 individual interviews with midwives and young women, 3 group interviews with young women visiting youth centres, observations at 5 youth centres and 5 individual interviews with young women after they started to use a contraceptive. Counselling meetings were found to have a specific structure and choices were made in careful negotiations although expressed as made by the young women. Furthermore, the knowledge produced during the meeting is a combination of actions and wordings, forming representations of the young women’s bodies. Both parties are involved but the midwife has the deciding power to interpret and describe the young woman in ways that fit this specific sexual and reproductive health setting. The most important affordances were close relations, attributed authority through trust. The most useful affordances were midwives and youth centres, authority based on their professional training. The predominant understanding of information literacy practices as related to texts only, which often implies causal relations between information literacy skills and actions, is critically examined. Information literacy is mostly understood in relation to a (neo)-liberal understanding of democracy and citizenship in which good citizens are supposed to make well-informed choices. However, as this thesis suggests, a radical take on democracy and citizenship implies that information literacy has a political potential. Hence, when telling their stories, the young women develop their civic and sexual identities.
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