På väg från ingenstans kritik och emancipation av kunskapsorganisation för feministisk forskning
Sammanfattning: This study deals with knowledge organization of feminist research, in bibliographic catalogues and in a Swedish context. The thesis develops a definition of feminist discourse which incorporates but is not limited to feminist research. Feminist research, in turn, is understood as articulating a critical approach aimed at critiquing and changing inequitable gender relations. The thesis analyzes the meaning of a range of feminist perspectives through a close text analysis of feminist PhD-dissertations. Two universal knowledge organization systems: Svenska ämnesord and Klassifikationssystem för svenska bibliotek; and one subject-specific system: Kvinnohistoriska samlingarnas ämnesord, are studied in order to discuss the extent to which they are able to articulate feminist perspectives, as well as how they actually articulate such perspectives in practice. The two universal systems studied tend to marginalize feminist perspectives as forms of knowledge. This thesis interprets this marginalization in the light of these systems’ putative objectivistic and universalistic epistemology and ontology. It is suggested that they privilege disciplinary knowledge over interdisciplinary knowledge forms, and substantive topics over conceptual perspectives. Guidelines for knowledge organizatory practice tend to encourage indexers and classifiers to search for central substantive themes. In this schema, feminism is understood as a field relating to socio-political women’s issues. Feminist knowledge qua knowledge is marginalized by the systems studied, and is at times given a plain wrong classifycation. further, this thesis suggests that the subject-specific knowledge organization system studied: Kvinnohistoriska samlingarnas ämnesord, is only able to deal with feminist research in an incomplete and inadequate way. Although this index is designed to classify texts within the broad subject field of: women’s studies, masculinity studies and gender research, as well as other material relevant to the field, the structure of the index is too simple and does not allow for associative relationships between terms; nor does it define feminist discourse. The premises and guidelines for knowledge organization practice are also under-developed or not well defined. Successful organization of feminist knowledge needs instead to be based on a particular understanding of knowledge and knowledge organization as contextually shaped (and shaping). Feminist literature is first and foremost about expressing feminist discourse qua theme, perspective, and part of the feminist tradition (such as critical, women-centring, and reflexive feminisms) – an observation that needs to be reflected in the knowledge organization.
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