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Dissertation Information for Sarai Lastra

- Sarai Lastra

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (USA) (2006)

- Linda C. Smith

- Betsy G. Hearne
- Ann Bishop
- Michael B. Twidale

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Making sense of community informatics: The development and application of the Community Event Research Method

Abstract: This thesis is about accomplishing the research goal of designing a community Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system for a diasporic community in a major US urban city. The process of achieving that goal generated a new method based on the traditions of community informatics (CI) and participatory design (PD). The thesis chronicles the discovery of that method---the Community Event Research Method (CERM)---and explores issues in developing and applying it. The method developed and applied in this thesis reasons that community events are knowledge objects which embody social processes, cultural meanings and information needs of a community and that a selected set of community events, which are related in some larger cultural context (in one way or another), can serve as a valuable unit of analysis for systematically uncovering strong and weak voices in a community. The research questions focus on understanding a community and on recasting knowledge into design.

Major findings include: the framework (CERM) based on community events and organized in three steps (representation, alignment, engagement) and three design principles for community ICTs. The thesis concludes that designing a participatory community ICT rests on three general principles that help us understand the nature of a local community's belief systems, actions and relationships. Principle 1: respecting the provenance of community ethos. Principle 2: understanding a relational view on community events. Principle 3: the iteration or conversion of a community ICT into another community event. (c) An operational definition for community ethos is developed as: Community ethos is the set of collective belief systems that influence community actions and relationships . (d) The thesis notes that finding the right members to work on a design project is closely related to identifying who are the community activists that do most of the community work. The thesis calls them Los Mismos , i.e., the same ones and argues that community events can help us expedite the process of locating Los Mismos . CERM provides an alternative way to build participatory community ICTs. It addresses design challenges of finding the right members, detecting " user perceived sensitivities ," and helps build a low-cost paper prototype model.

MPACT Scores for Sarai Lastra

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2009-06-03 20:12:19

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Students under Sarai Lastra

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