This study investigates information inequality and poverty in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Its purpose is to explore and elucidate strategies for public libraries to support the alleviation of this type of inequality and poverty within their communities.
In Chapters 1 and 2, in-depth discussions of information inequality and poverty are presented. An historical perspective of libraries in South Africa is presented in Chapter 3. The theoretical framework used for this study is explained in Chapter 4. This research is based mainly on the critical theories of Pierre Bourdieu, Paolo Freire, Martha Nussbaum, and Shiraz Durrani. In addition, a new integrative approach to information inequality and poverty based on this critical theoretical framework is presented. Chapter 5 will explain the qualitative research design and methodology of this study. A rationale for choosing to conduct two case studies is provided. The choice of constructivist, critical paradigms are explained as is the decision to use a quantitative survey to supplement the design.
In Chapter 6, uMhlathuze municipality and the case study libraries is discussed in depth. The findings of the data collection are presented, collated under five main themes based on the main research questions. Chapter 7 interprets and discusses the research findings in three primary analytic categories. An explanation of the steps to apply the new integrative approach to information inequality and poverty is provided. Final conclusions for addressing the problem is presented in Chapter 8 along with recommendations for libraries wishing to alleviate information inequality and poverty.