vol. 13 no. 4, December, 2008


ISIC Conference, Vilnius, 2008 - Abstracts from the Doctoral Workshop

Immigrants seeking work-life related information - a study of the information practices of Russian and Kurd women in Finland

Saraleena Aarnitaival
Department of Information Studies, University of Tampere, Finland


The theme of the study is the everyday information seeking of female immigrants in Finland. The topic is narrowed down to the context of employment, and the study focuses on women who have received or are receiving vocational or academic education. The aim is to find out what kind of information do these women need in order to participate in the Finnish employment system, and how and where they find it. Immigrants' ways of using information and communication technologies and their social networks in work life-related information acquisition are compared considering different backgrounds of the respondents.

The starting point of the study is a thought that information seeking and participation in the employment system have both impact on mastering one's life, and that this impact is strongly dependent on culture. An individual's information seeking in different situations is guided not only by one's knowledge of information sources and channels, their availability and usability (including affective factors), but also by one's own idea of the nature of information and its value in structuring the events of one's daily life. Information seeking behaviour is also affected by an individual's own idea of how much (s)he can control the direction of her/his life with her/his own actions. Additionally, the structure of social networks also has an impact on one's ways to seek and share information. All these aspects are also connected to gender.

The research questions are: 1) What kind of information-seeking and information sharing practices do female immigrants have in the worklife context? 2) How do these women use ITCs and their social networks to find jobs and information about Finnish worklife? 3) What meanings do they give to their information-seeking and sharing in context of employment and worklife?

The empirical data consist of twenty-eight qualitative interviews, fourteen informants represent different nationalities. The data is gathered by using the episodic interview method that combines traditional theme interview with narrative interview. The data collection also has included features of ethnography. Informants have been met in different kind of information seeking situations (i.g. in employment office), and these meetings are documented in field diaries. The diaries have been used as an additional data.

At the moment, the empirical data is being analysed. The similarities and differences between the stories of the informants are being studied by using the grounded theory method. Attention is being paid to informants' ways of discussing information and its meaning for their lives.

The execution of the study is in the end of 2011.

How to cite this paper

Aarnitaival, Saraleena (2009). "Immigrants seeking work-life related information - a study of the information practices of Russian and Kurd women in Finland " Information Research, 13(4) paper wks01. [Available at http://InformationR.net/ir/13-4/wks01.html]
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