Information Grounds in International Communities

Although a fair number of information grounds have already been explored and defined, no research as of yet has explored information grounds involving the international community. Jared Scott's decision to focus on the international community was motivated by an observed lack of useful information targeted towards this community.

The term international community refers to a group of people who have interest in foreign cultures, concepts and ideas; membership is defined neither by race, culture nor ethnicity. An example of this would be the UW Foundation for Understanding through Students (FIUTS). The international community is a unique construct within society in that the process of transferring information from one individual to another requires both participants to be mindful of each others’ language, culture, and level of comprehension. As such any information that is targeted towards this community needs to have the ability to transcend the above factors.

This research focuses on members of the international community that participate in the FIUTS Wednesday lunch. The lunch is a 2-hour weekly free event; anyone may come to eat and talk. Approximately 250 people attend weekly however this number can vary widely from 100 to 400 attendees depending on the time within the quarter.

By taking an observational approach and studying the individual movements of participants, it is possible to see distinct differences in how participants interacted within the context of the Wednesday lunch.


For more information see the following:

Scott, J. (2009, April). Identifying Indicia: Following the FIUTS Wednesday Lunch. Paper presented at CHI 2009, Boston, MA.



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