Information precarity and the agentic practices of marginalized communities: Puerto Rican activists addressing the crisis before, during, and after Hurricane Maria

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we propose that information precarity leads to and perpetuates information marginalization; communities then engage with marginalization with various types of proactive information practices. For this project, we explore how Puerto Ricans activists responded to information precarity before, during, and after Hurricane Maria. We interviewed activists about their experiences navigating the local and federal institutional environment and their information practices. We show that although Puerto Rico suffered catastrophic damage after Hurricane Maria, its already-weakened infrastructure, coupled with fiscal instability, had created a state of information precarity for many people before the hurricane hit. We also show how Puerto Rican activists engaged in solidarity-based, anti-colonial, and anti-neoliberal information activities. While previous models argue that people respond to marginalization with defensive/protective behavior, we propose people go beyond just responding; they enact their agency, resourcefulness, collective interests, and locally based knowledge to engage in proactive and subversive information practices. We conclude that marginalized actors who are critical of the structures that marginalize them transform their state of precarity into an alternative space where they can achieve their goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-530
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Volume74
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Association for Information Science and Technology.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences

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