University of Oulu

Huttunen, A, Kortelainen, T. Meaning-making on gender: Deeply meaningful information in a significant life change among transgender people. J Assoc Inf Sci Technol. 2021; 72: 799– 810.

Meaning-making on gender : deeply meaningful information in a significant life change among transgender people

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Author: Huttunen, Aira1; Kortelainen, Terttu1
Organizations: 1Information studies, University of Oulu, Faculty of Humanities, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-06-10


The purpose of this paper is to report on the seeking of deeply meaningful information, also including embodied information, connected to significant, intensely personal life changes having lifelong impacts. The concepts of “meaning-making,” “transitioning,” and information seeking in “deeply meaningful and profoundly personal contexts” are used in order to understand transgender individuals’ information seeking in the contexts of gender identity formation. Based on the literature, emotions and information seeking connected to a significant life change were divided into four phases to study how they could be identified in the 25 qualitative interviews with transgender individuals from Finland between the ages of 15 and 72. Based on the findings of this study, in significant life changes, an individual needs reliable, sensible and identifiable information. Serendipitous encounters and embodied experiences characterize information seeking during transitional stages. Peer communities are important for minorities in order to find places where interviewees feel safe to share information and experiences. These communities can also be found online. The concept of “deeply meaningful information” highlights the effect information has on information seekers. Deeply meaningful information can serve as a trigger for life change, helping people forward during the transitions.

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Series: Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
ISSN: 2330-1635
ISSN-E: 2330-1643
ISSN-L: 2330-1635
Volume: 72
Issue: 7
Pages: 799 - 810
DOI: 10.1002/asi.24447
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This study was funded by Kone Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Association for Information Science and Technology. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.