Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Final Review-Chatman

How did Elfreda Chatman’s theories about Information Poverty and Life in the Round match the experiences of the Collins family in the documentary Legacy?

Chatman's theories matched the experiences of the Collins family very closely while they were living in the projects and constantly struggling. Chatman's four concepts were secrecy, deception, risk taking, and situational relevance. Nicole was keeping her family's situation secret from her friends at school because of embarrassment, and her aunt Wanda was keeping her addiction problems secret at first also. As for deception, Nicole's mom was deceiving her own situation, not seeing it in reality as Nicole was, and therefore not making much of an effort to change it. She was also keeping from taking risks by not working harder to try and get jobs and make money to support her children. A problem that applied to the Collins family that they unfortunately had no control over was situational relevance. Because they relied so much on what they were told by social services and not going out on their own, they were deprived from a lot of information, such as how to use technology, which Nicole's mom would have benefited in when looking for jobs. Finally, Chatman stated "…life in the round…works most of the time with enough predictability that , unless a critical problem arises, there is no point in seeking information." This definitely applied to the Collins, as for if Nicole's cousin hadn't been shot, they probably wouldn't have been inspired or had the strength to change their lives and pull themselves out of the deeply negative situation they were in.

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