Documentary tools in everyday life: the wedding planner

Documentary tools in everyday life: the wedding planner Purpose – This paper aims to analyze documentary planning tools for an everyday life project, the wedding, to study how “document work” is constructed in this setting. Design/methodology/approach – Using Law and Lynch's study of birdwatching guides for novices as a framework, nine commercially‐available wedding planning guides targeted toward the primary planner, almost universally the bride, were analyzed. Findings – As Law and Lynch found, part of a novice's apprenticeship requires learning how to “see” in ways that are socially organized in and through texts. The paper shows how characteristics of birdwatching guides (naturalistic accountability, a picture theory of representation, and the strategic use of texts) are also evident in wedding planners, and how the very features that make these guides usable also occasion troubles for their users. Wedding planning guides treat the bride as a novice and instruct her in seeing wedding‐related tasks and times as amenable to management. However, planning a wedding requires multiple tasks and times that may be intertwined in ways that make both their representation and their execution highly complex. Research limitations/implications – The need for both temporal and thematic access highlights more general problems of knowledge organization in presenting a complex planning project in a linear and paper format. Originality/value – As workplace principles of time and project management are increasingly applied to everyday life, this paper provides a needed case study of the ways that everyday recordkeeping contributes to the novice bride's gendered apprenticeship and embeds her work within broader organizational and ideological systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Documentation Emerald Publishing

Documentary tools in everyday life: the wedding planner

Journal of Documentation, Volume 66 (6): 19 – Oct 19, 2010

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0022-0418
DOI
10.1108/00220411011087814
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to analyze documentary planning tools for an everyday life project, the wedding, to study how “document work” is constructed in this setting. Design/methodology/approach – Using Law and Lynch's study of birdwatching guides for novices as a framework, nine commercially‐available wedding planning guides targeted toward the primary planner, almost universally the bride, were analyzed. Findings – As Law and Lynch found, part of a novice's apprenticeship requires learning how to “see” in ways that are socially organized in and through texts. The paper shows how characteristics of birdwatching guides (naturalistic accountability, a picture theory of representation, and the strategic use of texts) are also evident in wedding planners, and how the very features that make these guides usable also occasion troubles for their users. Wedding planning guides treat the bride as a novice and instruct her in seeing wedding‐related tasks and times as amenable to management. However, planning a wedding requires multiple tasks and times that may be intertwined in ways that make both their representation and their execution highly complex. Research limitations/implications – The need for both temporal and thematic access highlights more general problems of knowledge organization in presenting a complex planning project in a linear and paper format. Originality/value – As workplace principles of time and project management are increasingly applied to everyday life, this paper provides a needed case study of the ways that everyday recordkeeping contributes to the novice bride's gendered apprenticeship and embeds her work within broader organizational and ideological systems.

Journal

Journal of DocumentationEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 19, 2010

Keywords: Records management; Information management; Project planning; Time‐based management; Marriage

References

  • The public sphere and discursive activities: information literacy as sociopolitical skills
    Andersen, J.
  • The script as mediating artifact in professional theater production
    Davies, E.
  • Research journal articles as document genres: exploring their role in knowledge organization
    Montesi, M.; Owen, J.M.
  • Time as a context of information seeking
    Savolainen, R.
  • Recordkeeping in the production of scientific knowledge: an ethnographic study
    Shankar, K.
  • Order from chaos: the poetics and pragmatics of scientific recordkeeping
    Shankar, K.
  • Ambiguity and legitimate peripheral participation in the creation of scientific documents
    Shankar, K.
  • Information creation and the notion of membership
    Trace, C.B.

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