Document (#29410)

Author
Wikgren, M.
Title
Critical realism as a philosophy and social theory in information science?
Source
Journal of documentation. 61(2005) no.1, S.11-22
Year
2005
Abstract
Purpose - The philosophical position known as critical realism is briefly introduced, and some of its central features are used to connect the philosophy and the realist social theory to some current library and information science (LIS) models of information behaviour. Design/methodology/approach - The paper uses a literature-based analysis of the critical realism concepts of a stratified social reality, the importance of contextualisation, and the relation between structure and agency. These features are discussed in relation to various models of information-seeking behaviour, but also to the "interpretative" approach to information as meaning which can only be achieved through discourses in a human community. Findings - The critical realism perspective could lay a fruitful foundation for an interdisciplinary research field like LIS, and its user studies in particular, concerned with many levels of information creation, seeking, use and processing. It is the task of the LIS researcher to explain the mechanisms that influence the information seeking, not only on an empirical level, by observing the user and his/her discourse community, but also by revealing possible underlying causes and relations. Originality/value - An awareness of the fact that social and cultural structures exist independent of one's knowledge of them has implications on how many central problems in the LIS field are regarded and studied.
Footnote
Vgl. auch unter: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/00220410510577989
Field
Informationswissenschaft
Wissenschaftstheorie

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