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Christina's LIS Rant
Saturday, September 03, 2005
  Eureka – Social Identity Theory!
Eureka – Social Identity Theory!
Ah-ha.  So all along I’ve been complaining that the personalization tools and portal tools don’t understand that I have multiple personalities online.  I’ve had a very difficult time actually explaining what I meant by multiple personalities since, in fact, I have no psychology training.  I’ve given examples of one time searching for knitting things, one time searching for organizational learning, and another time searching for characterization of aerosols using lidar backscatter.  If a system tried to refine my search using machine learning, but I have multiple and very diverse goals when I search online, then I would assume I pretty much would get garbage.  (See Spink, Amanda. 2004. Multitasking information behavior and information task switching: an exploratory study. Journal of Documentation 60, no. 4: 336-351 for a description of people doing this very thing in a public library setting, if I remember correctly)

Anyway, so I’m sitting here reading Rogers, P and M Lea. 2005. Social presence in distributed group environments: the role of social identity. Behaviour and Information Technology 24, no. 2 (March-April) : 151-158.  It turns out that I’m not talking about multiple personalities, I’m (maybe) talking about multiple social identities!  On page 152 they say
According to this theoretical perspective, individuals have multiple layers of ‘self’, including not only a personal identity, but also a range of possible social identities. Moreover, each social identity provides information about the social group, what is typical for that group and the behavioural norms associated with it. For example, various characteristics are associated with groups such as sports teams, work groups and gender affiliation. Each group situation presents a different social identity with associated norms and at any one time either a particular social identity or the personal identity can be salient.
Ah-ha!  So I looked in a couple of databases for social identity AND (web searching or internet searching or information seeking or …) no luck so far.  I better get back to my reading.  Food for thought, though.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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