The Transition of Worldviews: Collective Information Behavior During the 2006 Thai Coup D’´Etat

Topics: Thailand, 2006 Thai coup d'état, People's Alliance for Democracy Pages: 131 (44297 words) Published: February 12, 2013
The Transition of Worldviews: Collective Information Behavior during the 2006 Thai Coup D’´tat e

Songphan Choemprayong

A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Information and Library Science.

Chapel Hill 2010

Approved by: Paul Solomon, Advisor Barbara B. Moran Barbara M. Wildemuth Claudia Gollop Laura N. Gasaway

Copyright c 2010 Songphan Choemprayong Some Rights Reserved (This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license.) ii






SONGPHAN CHOEMPRAYONG: The Transition of Worldviews: Collective Information Behavior during the 2006 Thai Coup D’´tat. e (Under the direction of Paul Solomon)

This study explores the way in which people sought and shared information during a socio-political crisis, using the September 19, 2006 coup d’´tat in Thailand as a case e study, where the traditional flow of information and communication was interrupted. Using Chatman’s notion of small world and Merton’s Insider and Outsider conception as major theoretical frameworks, this study particularly focuses on collective information behavior and the roles of insiders and outsiders in this disruptive situation. Exploratory qualitative methods were applied, including document analysis and semi-structured interviews. The document analysis covers coup-related public online documents (i.e., blogs, photos, videos, and Wikipedia entries) created and/or uploaded during September 19 to September 23, 2006. Sense-Making Methodology (SMM), including the MicroMoment Timeline interview approach and SMM question roster, was used to frame the interviews. The interview informants were selected using two methods: eight from extreme case selection (whose content was most visible, commented, viewed, ranked during the coup), and four from a snowball sampling technique. The data analysis used both deductive and inductive coding techniques. The findings explain how people sought and shared information in order to make sense of the situation as well as to serve other motivations (e.g., to persuade others, to be part of a history, and to entertain). Some factors influencing information behavior during that period were examined including individual (i.e., emotion, memory, and physical capacity), collective (i.e., to know better and faster, to achieve particular goals, to feel secure, and to be encouraged), and contextual constructs (i.e., time and place). In addition, this study found that there iii

was still a strong form of the Insider among those who were in Thailand during that time, confirming the applicability of Chatman’s small world. However, there was also evidence of the Outsider, especially highlighting the eminent roles of converted members – insiders-out and outsiders-in – in terms of bridging worldviews. This study supports a call to reconsider threats from censorship as a derivative form of information poverty as well as revisit the creation and adjustment of social norms, and the sense of excitement in the context of information behavior in socio-political crisis.


To my mother, Bunma, and my brother, Songwit. Without your sacrifice and belief in me, my life would not have come this far.


Writing a dissertation is a long hard-working process. Throughout this entire journey, I have received tremendous supports from numerous wonderful individuals. It is very hard to mention all of their names to show my appreciation. First of all, I would like thanks Paul Solomon, my advisor, who has guided this part of my intellectual expedition from the beginning to the end. I also would like to thank all of my committee members, Barbara Moran, Barbara Wildemuth, Claudia Gollop, and Lolly Gasaway, for their valuable suggestions and comments. In addition, I also would like to thank you Paul...
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