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Homeless Young People and Living with Personal Digital Artifacts

Summary: Homeless Young People and
Living with Personal Digital Artifacts
Jill Palzkill Woelfer and David G. Hendry
The Information School
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2840
{woelfj, dhendry}@uw.edu
This paper reports on an investigation of how homeless
young people hold themselves in relation to personal digital
artifacts. Twelve participants, aged 19-29, took part in
semi-structured interviews. Participants answered questions
about the acquisition and disposition of personal artifacts,
digital and non-digital, including mobile phones, music
players, and wallets. The analysis of the interview
transcripts reveals that young people often part with their
digital artifacts in order to meet immediate needs, including
the need to create and reciprocate goodwill. This contingent
holding of personal artifacts illuminates both the ordinary
and extraordinary circumstances of homelessness. The


Source: Anderson, Richard - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences