Start Date

20-5-2011

Description

In understanding a person’s information seeking behavior and choice of information sources, it becomes very important to understand the context surrounding the search. This context gives rise to the information need and leads a person to look for information. Research in information seeking behavior, while concentrating on system and person centric research, has, so far, left out studying how information seeking behavior was documented in historical and mythological records, in religious and spiritual texts and in major epics of the world. In this theoretical study, frameworks of context and source choice when looking for information will be applied to a detailed examination of Ram’s inquiry on the whereabouts of his missing wife Sita in the Ramayaṇa, an ancient epic dating back to 5th-to-4th century B.C. The study should shed light on recorded information seeking behavior in one of the oldest epics of the world, and help towards understanding the historical evolution of information seeking behavior in context.

Keywords. Information seeking behavior, context, source choice, religion and information, Ramayana.

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May 20th, 12:00 AM

Ram’s Search for Sita in the Ramayaṇa: Information Seeking in an Ancient Indian Epic

In understanding a person’s information seeking behavior and choice of information sources, it becomes very important to understand the context surrounding the search. This context gives rise to the information need and leads a person to look for information. Research in information seeking behavior, while concentrating on system and person centric research, has, so far, left out studying how information seeking behavior was documented in historical and mythological records, in religious and spiritual texts and in major epics of the world. In this theoretical study, frameworks of context and source choice when looking for information will be applied to a detailed examination of Ram’s inquiry on the whereabouts of his missing wife Sita in the Ramayaṇa, an ancient epic dating back to 5th-to-4th century B.C. The study should shed light on recorded information seeking behavior in one of the oldest epics of the world, and help towards understanding the historical evolution of information seeking behavior in context.

Keywords. Information seeking behavior, context, source choice, religion and information, Ramayana.