School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

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Publication Date

Fall 9-2-2022



Information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) research sporadically leverages information science scholarship. Our qualitative study employs the “information grounds” (IG) lens to investigate the consequences of information exchanges by pregnant women on Facebook, who are vulnerable in the doctor-centric birth culture in rural America. The thematic analysis of in-depth interviews with members and administrators of the Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) group shows that positive consequences outweigh negative consequences of information exchanges and lead to the following progression of outcomes: (1) VBAC group as an information ground, (2) social capital (e.g., cognitive, structural, and relational capital) built on the information ground, (3) seven emergent properties of the information ground, and (4) value co-created (e.g., local, affordable, timely, enduring, and reliable support) by VBAC group members. The IG lens reveals the following roles of Facebook, an ICT, in development: (a) a linker that lets people with similar needs and interests convene and shapes their interactions, (b) a pre-requisite to building an online, “third place” for social interactions, and (c) an apparatus for ubiquitously seeking, searching, sharing, and storing information in multiple formats and controlling its flow on the VBAC group. This paper fills in six gaps in the ICT4D research.


This is the version we submitted for review to JASIS&T.

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