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View Thread: Silverlight 4 : ItemSource vs DataContext
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    ItemsSource explains what the source of the items is, whilst DataContext is purely about the concept of given Data being bound against that item, that data may not be used specifically (or directly) as the items, it may be used to set other properties on the list control.


    Generally you would bind to the DataContext, and if required (not sure if ItemsSource has a default binding directly to the DataContext) use items source to bind to THE or part of the DataContext.