Information literacy challenges in digital culture: Conflicting engagements of trust and doubt

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


The ability of citizens to establish the credibility of information and information sources through critical assessment is often emphasized as essential for the upholding of a democratic society and for people’s health and safety. Drawing on material-discursive conceptualizations, the article asks, how does critical assessment of information and information sources play out as it is folded into a networked information infrastructure in which different types of information are mediated and shaped by the same algorithms and flattened into the same interfaces? The empirical material comprises dyadic interviews with 61 adolescents. The interviews were analysed using an interpretative approach focusing on the construction of action and meaning. The analysis foregrounds trust and agency as two dimensions. This way normative assumptions become visible as stereotypes, sometimes positioned as ideals towards which to strive, other times as deterrent examples: the non-evaluator, the naïve evaluator, the skeptical evaluator and the confident evaluator. The created stereotypes help to comprehend different understandings of critical assessment of information and how these can bring about different actions. The article argues that critical assessment of information as an element in media and information literacy must be understood not just in relation to how it is used to assess the credibility of information, but also regarding how it is performatively enrolled in the shaping of knowledge and in the creation of ignorance and doubt.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Högskolan i Borås

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap


  • information literacy, algorithms, trust, sociomaterality
TidskriftInformation, Communication & Society
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2020
Peer review utfördJa

Related projects

Jutta Haider & Olof Sundin

Swedish Research Council


Projekt: ForskningIndividuellt forskningsprojekt

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