Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "It's What I Can Do": Uncertainty, Struggle, and the Emotional Know-How of Environmentalists Working for Social Change

Time-line interviews and other aspects of Brenda Dervin's Sense-Making Methodology were used to explore the production of knowledge by people who are interested in creating social change-in particular, a group of environmentalists. Three prominent themes emerged in the interviews: the urge to make a difference in the world, uncertainty or doubt about the interviewees' impact, and personal struggles over whether the interviewees were doing enough for the cause. While some of the uncertainty, doubt, and struggles faced by the interviewees might be helped by better factual information, it is argued that some of these difficulties cannot be resolved in such a way. The "know-how" of being able to take action in the face of uncertainty and personal struggles may be an important kind of knowledge being produced and established in groups similar to the one studied.