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Knowledge organization for feminism and feminist research: a discourse oriented study  of systematic outlines, logical structure, semantics and the process of indexing
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
2010 (English)In: Knowledge organization, ISSN 0943-7444, Vol. 37, no 1, 3-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The focus in this article is directed towards an analysis of the knowledge organization systems that index and classify feminist research texts in a Swedish bibliographic context. The article also has an important mission in elucidating the methodology of my analytical framework – so it could be repeated and further used for knowledge organization (KO) research. The theoretical and analytical framework is primarily discourse theoretic. At first, a feminist discourse is defined, of which feminist research is seen as a part. Feminist perspectives are analyzed through textanalysis of PhD-dissertations as feminist articulations. I also analyze the possibilities to classify and index feminist research with the national universal knowledge organization systems (KOS); Svenska Ämnesord (SÄ) and Klassifikationssystem för svenska bibliotek (KSB), and one subject specific system; Kvinnohistoriska samlingarnas ämnesord (KvÄ). The systems are analyzed as articulations. The KOS are studied in order to discuss how they are able to articulate feminist perspectives. In the national universal systems, a severe marginalization of feminist research is noticed. Feminist discourse consisting of feminist theoretical and metatheoretical perspectives are not considered at all in the KOS. The conclusion drawn is that the KOS could not be considered as feminist articulations. The marginalization is interpreted as an objectivistic and universalistic epistemology and ontology; monodisciplinary knowledge and thematic topics are privileged. Feminism is misunderstood as a field relating to socio-political women’s issues, which has marginalized status in the systems. In the subject-specific system Kvinnohistoriska samlingarnas ämnesord incomplete and inadequate knowledge organization is shown. The structure of this index is too simplistic and feminist discourse as such is not defined. Successful organization of feminist knowledge needs to be based on a particular understanding of knowledge and knowledge organization as contextually shaped (and shaping). Feminist literature is expressing feminist discourse qua theme, perspective, and part of the feminist tradition (such as critical, women-centring, and reflexive feminisms) – which must be expressed in the knowledge organization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wurzburg: Ergon Verlag , 2010. Vol. 37, no 1, 3-28 p.
Keyword [en]
knowledge organization, gender, information science, critical classification, library, epistemology, perspective
National Category
Information Studies Gender Studies
Research subject
biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-31917ISI: 000288734600001OAI: diva2:299513
Available from: 2010-02-23 Created: 2010-02-23 Last updated: 2015-10-09Bibliographically approved

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