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Bias in Subject Representation: a discussion on binary oppositions in the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD)

Grant number: 10/00642-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2010
Effective date (End): March 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Information Science - Library and Information Science
Principal Investigator:José Augusto Chaves Guimarães
Grantee:Suellen Oliveira Milani
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Marília. Marília , SP, Brazil


Subject representation presupposes a power, and supported by constructed and agreed processes and tools take to the construction of products through which the user will have access to the desired information - the document surrogates. These document surrogates are constructed toward bias in two contexts. In a negative context, the document surrogates are constructed toward bias when it leaves out diverse features, it disenfranchises groups and topics outside of an accepted norm (OLSON, 2002b) or it conveys inclinations or prejudices. In a positive context, it is perceived slanting or tendency coveyed by the document surrogates ensuring specificity to specific users. In this polissemic scenario, our research problem is established: how are the biases in subject representation theoretically composed and constructed? How do they act? From a perceived lack of literature about topics related to biases in Library and Information Science, we propose a critical discussion in the information organization field, with the aim to situate, define, and delineate the bias in subject representation phenomenon. This dissertation is documental and exploratory-descriptive, and adopts a mix methodology. We settled on a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FROHMANN, 1994) under a post-structuralist epistemic stance because we are not looking for universal truths, we are searching for another way to understand the subject representation and the construction of document surrogates. We elected the feminist deconstruction (OLSON, 1996, 2001a, 2002b) to decenter the binary opposition neutrality versus special interests once we have, on one hand, the librarians' faith in a no interference of their moral values looking for a pretended impartiality and, on the other hand, the need of the librarian's value judgement to represent specific discursive communities. The binaries are going to be decentered from the Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD): A Conceptual Model highlighting the power relations toward biases in subject representation perceived as well as assumptions and presumptions inherent to them.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MILANI, Suellen Oliveira. Bias na Representação de Assunto: Uma Discussão de Oposições Binárias nos Functional Requirements for Subject Authority Data (FRSAD). 2014. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências. Marília Marília.

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