Toward a Taxonomy of Harm in Knowledge Organization Systems
Tennis, Joseph T.
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A starting point for contributing to the greater good is to examine and interrogate existing knowledge organization practices that do harm, whether that harm is intentional or accidental, or an inherent and unavoidable evil. As part of the transition movement, the authors propose to inventory the manifestations and implications of the production of suffering by knowledge organization systems through constructing a taxonomy of harm. Theoretical underpinnings guide ontological commitment, as well as the recognition of the problem of harm in knowledge organization systems. The taxonomy of harm will be organized around three main questions: what hap- pens?, who participates?, and who is affected and how? The aim is to heighten awareness of the violence that classifications and naming practices carry, to unearth some of the social conditions and motivations that contribute to and are reinforced by knowledge organization systems, and to advocate for intentional and ethical knowledge organization practices to achieve a minimal level of harm.
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