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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1992

BERND FROHMANN

A discourse analysis of the cognitive viewpoint in library and information science identifies seven discursive strategies which constitute information as a commodity, and…

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Abstract

A discourse analysis of the cognitive viewpoint in library and information science identifies seven discursive strategies which constitute information as a commodity, and persons as surveyable information consumers, within market economy conditions. These strategies are: (a) universality of theory, (b) referentiality and reification of ‘images’, (c) internalisation of representations, (d) radical individualism and erasure of the social dimension of theory, (e) insistence upon knowledge, (f) constitution of the information scientist as an expert in image negotiation, and (g) instrumental reason, ruled by efficiency, standardisation, predictability, and determination of effects. The discourse is guided throughout by a yearning for natural‐scientific theory. The effect of the cognitive viewpoint's discursive strategy is to enable knowledge acquisition of information processes only when users' and generators' ‘images’ are constituted as objectively given natural‐scientific entities, and to disable knowledge of the same processes when considered as products of social practices. By its constitution of users as free creators of images, of the information scientist as an expert in image interpretation and delivery, and of databases as repositories of unmediated models of the world, the cognitive viewpoint performs ideological labour for modern capitalist image markets.

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Journal of Documentation, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Federica Timeto

This paper considers the role of nonhuman animals in the thought of Donna Haraway, going from her critique of the animal as model/mirror for the evolution of the human…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper considers the role of nonhuman animals in the thought of Donna Haraway, going from her critique of the animal as model/mirror for the evolution of the human body politic to her proposal for a “compost” society. It demonstrates her changing positions in relation to the social role of animals and the deepening of her critique of intersectional relations that subordinate nonhuman animals and animalized people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper intertwines a loosely historical approach and a thematic one, focusing on key issues of sociological theory, such as work, agency and kinship, and the way these relate to the animal question in Haraway's writings. Her texts are discussed both broadly and in-depth, and her positionality in terms of both feminism and antispeciesism is foregrounded.

Findings

The paper shows how the progressive abandonment of a posthuman approach in favor of a compostist one brings Haraway nearer to intersectional ecofeminism and to a fuller consideration of nonhuman agency at a material level, as well as to a deeper critique of instrumental relations of domination and issue that had been problematic in critiques of her earlier work.

Social implications

The paper highlights the role of nonhumans in the evolution and constitution of societies and advocates a response-able multispecies politics.

Originality/value

This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the social role of animals in Haraway's thought and the deepening antispeciesism of her feminist approach that sheds a different light on her positionality in relation to ecofeminism.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 41 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Johanna Rivano Eckerdal

The aim of this article is to suggest that the information interaction between midwives and young women during counselling meetings about contraceptives can be approached…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to suggest that the information interaction between midwives and young women during counselling meetings about contraceptives can be approached as loci of knowledge production and discuss the consequences this has for the understanding of information practices. The overarching question is: how is knowledge produced during the interaction between the midwives and the young women and what roles do their bodies play in this interaction?

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative methods inspired by ethnography were used, including conversation transcripts of ten counselling meetings, 19 interviews and participatory observations at five youth centres in the South of Sweden. The study took place over a period of nine months. The feministic conceptual framework presented by Donna Haraway concerning knowledge production was used to analyse the material.

Findings

As they meet, both midwives and young women are information sources to each other, and the information conveyed is negotiated in both words and actions. Both parties are involved in a careful negotiation to establish what information is needed and appropriate for the situation at hand, but the midwives have the final say. However, the midwives balance between exerting a generalised expertise and entering in a situated dialogue with the young women.

Practical implications

This study may contribute to awareness among information professionals of counselling meetings as information interactions where both words and actions are important as well as the inequality of power in that interaction.

Originality/value

This study contributes to library and information studies by broadening the understanding of what an information source may be and by exploring the usefulness of feminist researcher Donna Haraway's analytical tools for understanding information interactions as knowledge producing negotiations.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 68 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Book part
Publication date: 11 April 2017

Janet Sayers

This chapter explores how writing ‘with animals’ can contribute to the development of feminist and queer approaches in Critical Management Studies (CMS). The chapter is…

Abstract

This chapter explores how writing ‘with animals’ can contribute to the development of feminist and queer approaches in Critical Management Studies (CMS). The chapter is theoretically framed with previous work in organisational studies and CMS on gendered writing and introduces the queer practice of ‘dog-writing’ used by feminists in human-animal studies like Donna Haraway and Susan McHugh. Cixous’ essay on ‘On birds, women and writing’ is used to introduce the idea of writing as a ‘difficult joy’. The author then uses writing from her personal journals to ‘write with animals’, especially birds, to show how thought can start. Writing with animals means to be-in-the-world with animals and recognise the ways they are foundational to not only organisational life, but thought itself. By drawing on developments by queer and feminist writers in human-animal studies CMS writers can engage with contemporary creative resistance practices and offer affirmative alternatives.

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Feminists and Queer Theorists Debate the Future of Critical Management Studies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-498-3

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Lived Realities of Solo Motherhood, Donor Conception and Medically Assisted Reproduction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-115-5

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Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2021

Amanda Karlsson

Studies on the socio-technical relations between bodies and self-tracking apps have become more relevant as the number of digital solutions for monitoring our bodies are…

Abstract

Studies on the socio-technical relations between bodies and self-tracking apps have become more relevant as the number of digital solutions for monitoring our bodies are increasing and becoming even more embedded in our everyday lives. While a strong body of literature within the fields of self-tracking and the quantified self has evolved during the recent years, the author suggests it is time we (once again) start paying attention to the specific bodies in question when we look into the quantification of bodies, particularly about the question as to whose bodies are we talking about when we say, ‘quantified bodies’. The author also proposes that, when discussing the quantification of bodies, we take interest in the bodies designing, producing, and guiding the logic behind the algorithms embedded in the technological solutions in question. By suggesting this focus on bodies as knowledge producing, the author draws from a feminist perspective of situated knowledges (Haraway 1988; Harding, 1986, 2004) with a particular interest in knowledge production and the understanding of bodies as active, epistemological objects. Feminist theory of science replaces, so to speak, the idea of a universal human identity with a knowing subject who can occupy many different positions – in co-creative and transforming constellations. Following this line of thought, all kinds of knowledge production must be bodily anchored and situated. However, knowledge production always takes place in relation to or with something/someone else/other. As explained by philosopher Rosi Braidotti ‘[t]he post-human knowing subject has to be understood as a relational embodied and embedded, affective and accountable entity and not only as a transcendental consciousness’ (Braidotti, 2018, p. 1). Thus, the bodies in this chapter are the bodies who menstruate. The author wishes to discuss a particular socio-technical relation between smartphone applications (apps) to track and monitor the female cycle; period-apps, and the menstruating bodies engaging with these apps. Building on early feminist thoughts from the science and technology studies (STS), the author seeks to move beyond the algorithmic quantification of bodies to study the network of knowledge production formed by bodies, materialities, technology and history with all its reminiscence of stigma and taboo surrounding these leaking bodies (Shildrich, 1999). These inquiries are not only theoretical accounts but are also rooted in empirical soil. Based on a feminist ethnography of Danish women’s everyday engagement with period-apps, the female developers from the Femtech-industry and the women-only groups within the quantified self-movement, the author aims to provide a broad perspective on what the author defines as the gendered data body. The author argues for a feminist approach to better understand the socio-technical relations and the socio-cultural discourses the menstruating body is situated in, as well as to better understand the unique relation between knowledge production and technology as being constitutional for the gendered data body.

Details

The Quantification of Bodies in Health: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-883-8

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Posthumanism in Digital Culture
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-107-2

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Book part
Publication date: 13 March 2019

Nadine Dannenberg

A lot has been written on zombies lately and on the rather conservative US-American TV Show The Walking Dead (AMC, 2010–) in particular. A lot less has been written on the…

Abstract

A lot has been written on zombies lately and on the rather conservative US-American TV Show The Walking Dead (AMC, 2010–) in particular. A lot less has been written on the SyFy-Show Z Nation (2014–), although it is a sophisticated feminist take on the zombie lore. Centring around a group of survivors, who escort a human–zombie–cyborg across the US and Mexico, the show not only undermines the patriarchalism of its archetype, but also raises questions of post-humanism by the means of Donna Haraway or Rosi Braidotti. With the help of media-self-reflexive parody and pastiche, the series comments on its extradiegetic world as much as on its own genre and offers a deconstruction of stereotypical (gendered) tropes and conventions. In the following chapter, I use a selective close reading of the text and its representation politics to demonstrate how a feminist deconstruction of zombie-horror can come into being and how an (academic) distinction between Quality and Trash TV can be just as regressive as productive in this process.

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Gender and Contemporary Horror in Television
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-103-2

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Caroline K. Kaltefleiter

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Riot Grrrl activist network in the USA and highlight historical anarchist actions of the Washington, DC chapter by examining…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the Riot Grrrl activist network in the USA and highlight historical anarchist actions of the Washington, DC chapter by examining the nexus of feminism and anarchism on a continuum of youth activism, and by paying attention to anti-war campaigns, food distribution programs, free clinics and girl culture.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper historically contextualizes Riot Grrrl within the Situationist International literature and cultural resistance as well as Donna Harraway’s work on cultural workers. Ethnographic work incorporates participant observation and semi-structured interviews as well as textual analysis of rare Riot Grrrl artifacts. Focus is given to the production of zines as mechanisms for communicating and deconstructing anarcho-grrrl culture.

Findings

This paper charts the influence of Riot Grrrl with particular attention to anti-war demonstrations to contemporary activist projects that illustrate tenants of anarchism such as non-hierarchical leadership, direction action, cooperation, mutual aid and volunteerism.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on the Riot Grrrl network in the USA, with a focus on the Washington, DC chapter. Subsequent Riot Grrrl chapters emerged around the world and future research might attend to regional impact these groups made in their communities.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper resides not only in its ethnographic approach to the essence of being a Riot Grrrl, but also includes the author’s own reflections of involvement in this girl-centered activist collective. Further, the author acknowledges Los Angeles performance artist Exene Cervanka, whose anti-war writing and activist work was influential to the Riot Grrrl movement. This essay examines actions to (re)organize, and to disrupt preferred meanings and interpretations of organization and protest so as to mobilize knowledge and to affect authentic social change. This paper commemorates the 25th anniversary of Riot Grrrl and the Mount Pleasant Riots.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 30 November 2005

Christina Björkman

In this paper I discuss how feminist research focusing epistemological issues can be used within computer science (CS). I approach and explore epistemological questions in…

Abstract

In this paper I discuss how feminist research focusing epistemological issues can be used within computer science (CS). I approach and explore epistemological questions in computer science through a number of themes, which I believe are important to the issues of what knowledge is produced as well as how it is produced and how knowledge is perceived in CS. I discuss for example paradigms and metaphors in computer science, the role of abstractions and the concept of naturalisation. In order to illustrate epistemological views in CS and how these can be questioned from the viewpoints of feminist epistemology, I also do a close reading and commenting of a recent book within the philosophy of computing.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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