As in: (1) Who is this stranger posting to Researchofile?; and (2) “What am I a scholar of?” (Luker, p. 64)
I’m very, VERY behind on posting, and it’s all because of Luker! Let me explain:
You see, I’m a bit of a slow reader, especially if what I’m reading is something that is essentially a loosely structured novel. Luker’s writing, for example, with all the anecdotes and salsa dancing metaphors, is very difficult for me. Structure, that’s what I like. I like rules and regulations, headings and sub-headings, bullet points, figures, tables, and pictures. In other words, I like Knight. (I also like Creswell, but more on that later.) But I hit a bit of a roadblock with Assignment 2 (something about my framework, not sure what, wasn’t making sense to me) and decided to go back to Luker and give her a more careful read. I had some questions, and perhaps Luker had the answers for me.
Page 64 is where I found what I needed. Luker said, “decide what you are; (…) what are you a scholar of.” You need to know this to develop a proper frame for your research question, she added, and “how you frame your question is something of a key importance” (p. 67). This resonated with me, so much so in fact that I decided to take a step back and regroup.
A few sources proved particularly helpful. Marcia Bates’ article titled “An Operational Definition of the Information Disciplines” (available online via Marcia Bates’ website at http://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/) gave me a listing of all of the i-disciplines and some background on how this list was developed. Things are complicated in our field so I also read Brian Cantwell Smith’s critique of Bates’ “The Invisible Substrate of Information Science” (http://www.ischool.utoronto.ca/system/files/pages/docs/itable/BatesAnnotated.pdf) next, just to get some additional context. The Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences was terrific, of course. And finally, I must also mention Creswell’s “Research Design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches” (2003), where he talks at length about the thinking involved in the process of designing research. How do you select a proper methodology for your research? What theoretical perspective is behind this methodology? What epistemology informs all of this? This was a good complement to Knight’s Ch. 1.
And so here I am now, very, VERY behind on my blog work. I must admit though, Luker really did make me think about what it is that I like about LIS and where I , so perhaps this was a good investment of my time after all. (And now, no additional side projects for me for the remaining of the semester!)
I still have a bit of writing to do, so off I go now – but talk SOON! J