Noticing the Unnoticed: Lines of Work in Everyday Life Information Practices
Proceedings of the Association for Information Science & Technology
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This paper challenges the existing dichotomy between “everyday” and “workplace” information practices and uses an expansive understanding of work to make visible the often invisible and unpaid forms of work required to make everyday life possible. After an overview of existing understandings and applications of work within LIS, two studies that take up the information work of caring for a family member living with a chronic illness demonstrate that everyday life information practices transcend domestic and organizational contexts. The unpredictability of a chronic illness leads caregivers to undertake numerous and simultaneous lines of work in their everyday and every night lives, including information, document, affective, avoidance, and articulation work, among others. We argue that using the notion of work is a strategy to acknowledge, name, and count those everyday life information practices that are so commonplace they risk becoming unnoticed.