Power/knowledge: The discursive construction of an author

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Library Quarterly, 2007, 77 (2), pp. 219 - 240
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This article reports the findings of a study examining the social/discursive construction of an author (Brenda Dervin) by an international community of researchers (information behavior researchers). A crucial conceptual starting point for the study was Michel Foucault's work on the discursive construction of power/knowledge. The study represents one attempt to develop a discourse analytic approach to the study of information behavior. The researcher carried out semistructured qualitative interviews, based in part on Dervin's "Life-Line" and "Time-Line" techniques, with fifteen information behavior researchers from eight universities in five countries in Europe and North America. The study's findings provide a case study in how discourse operates at the microsociological level. It provides examples of how community members engage with, accept, and contest both new and established "truth statements" and discursive practices. They demonstrate that both participants' formal and informal information behaviors are the product of discursive power/knowledge relations. © 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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