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Title:Social justice research in library and information sciences: a case for discourse analysis
Author(s):Oliphant, Tami
Subject(s):Social justice in LIS
Abstract:Scholars have employed a variety of research methodologies and methods to explore, probe, and uncover ways in which social justice is enacted, embodied, supported, or not supported by researchers, educators, and practitioners in library and information science and services (LIS). Discursive psychology as developed by social psychologist Jonathan Potter and critical discourse analysis as developed by Norman Fairclough are introduced as fruitful approaches to investigate the critical intersections of LIS and social justice. The theoretical development of social justice in LIS is discussed. Next, critical discourse analysis and discursive psychology are examined and then analyzed for goodness of fit with Kevin Rioux’s (2010) five underlying assumptions of social justice metatheory: (1) All human beings have an inherent worth and deserve information services that help address those needs; (2) People perceive reality and information in different ways, often within cultural or life role contexts; (3) There are many different types of information and knowledge, and these are societal resources; (4) Theory and research are pursued with the ultimate goal of bringing positive change to service constituencies; (5) The provision of information services is an inherently powerful activity. Drawing on the findings of the goodness of fit of Rioux’s metatheory and examples of discourse analytic studies in LIS, this article offers practical strategies for social justice researchers wanting to use critical discourse analysis or discursive psychology.
Issue Date:2015
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In Library Trends 64 (2) Fall 2015: 226-245.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-01

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