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Open Information Science

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The Information Practices of the Fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh

Nafiz Zaman Shuva
  • Department of Information Science and Library Management, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh & Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
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Published Online: 2017-07-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2017-0003

Abstract

Utilizing de Certeau’s concepts of “tactics” and “strategies,” and Chatman’s “information poverty,” this study examines the information practices of the fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. Using faceto- face surveys, this study gathers data from 102 fishermen in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh. The findings of the study reveal that the majority of fishermen (“fisher folks”) studied regularly need information on weather, fish buying and selling prices, daily consumable products, entertainment, and religion. Fisher folks in this study heavily rely on their informal information networks (e.g., family and friends) to meet their diverse information needs. The study also reports various information challenges faced by the participants. It is evident in this study that fisher folks, due to unwelcoming information environment of strategic institutions (e.g., various government agencies), tactically avoid services and information provided by them. A call for radical change in “information service culture” (i.e., offering information to only educated, the dominant group of the society) has been emphasized by the author of the paper. The study also highlights the importance of offering appropriate, need-based, welcoming information services to rural communities by various government information agencies including public libraries. It is expected that this study will help researchers design studies aimed at exploring the “tactical information practices” of various unprivileged groups such as victims of domestic violence, ready-made garments worker, sex workers, etc., who have diverse socioeconomic and political backgrounds.

Keywords : Information practices of rural communities; tactical information practices; information poverty; information practices of marginalised population; Michel de Certeau

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About the article

Received: 2016-11-23

Accepted: 2017-05-29

Published Online: 2017-07-14

Published in Print: 2017-06-27


Citation Information: Open Information Science, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 21–40, ISSN (Online) 2451-1781, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2017-0003.

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