Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
AAM version of the In-between article Niloofar Solhjoo.pdf (1.33 MB)

The In-between: Information Experience within Human-Companion Animal Living

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-01-11, 21:51 authored by Niloofar Solhjoo, Maja KrtalicMaja Krtalic, Anne GouldingAnne Goulding

Purpose: While exploring the information experience within multispecies families, the subjective nature of humans and non-human entities, living beings and non-living objects becomes evident. This paper aims to reveal the underlying significance of information within socio-physical living environments shared among humans, cats, and dogs as companions.

Design/methodology/approach: Gaining inspiration from the information experience approach and posthumanism, this is a phenomenological paper. Empirical material related to lived experiences of participating families were gathered through multispecies ethnography methods, followed by phenomenological reflections. The paper has been written based on excerpt-commentary-units and the inclusion of videos and images as an approach to convey the richness of the lived experiences and multiple perspectives.

Findings: Findings are organised into three main sections, each capturing lived experiences of information and its utilization from various frames. The paper shows how living beings, both human and animal, use their physical, sensual, and moving bodies to acquire and convey information to and from each other. Moving beyond the living beings, the study discusses how non-living objects in the physical environment of a multispecies family also shape information. Material objects, spatial locations, and even plants became sources of information for the family members. Lastly, the paper describes the social environment of the family, where all members, human and animal, are actively shaped by information within their social interactions and companionship.

Originality: Considering information distributed across species and material objects in a shared, more-than-human environment, the article suggests implications for an information experience approach. It emphasizes how information shapes the in-between humans, animals, and their environment, highlighting their reliance on each other for understanding and living a good shared life. There is a need for future research to explore the information experience within the internal subjective minds of members of multispecies families, bridging the gap in our understanding of these external information and their internal information processes.

This is the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version of the article published in the Journal of Documentation, 2024, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. DOI: 10.1108/JD-08-2023-0160. Please refer to the Author Rights page as confirmation of this permission: