Engaging at the Margins: Theoretical and Philosophical Approaches to Social Justice

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Subject Area(s)

Computer Science


This interactive panel demonstrates how critical, interdisciplinary theoretical and philosophical approaches outside the field of library and information science (LIS) can foster new ways of thinking about the concept of social justice. The panel consists of four researchers whose scholarship connects to these approaches. The following areas will be discussed: extending the philosophy of justice‐as‐fairness using the work of Amartya Sen, employing Umberto Eco's theoretical approach of semiotics to critique contemporary LIS practices and ideologies and adopting an information practices approach to highlight the importance of sociocultural context, embodiment and unsanctioned resources among those with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) identities.

The panel will consist of a brief introduction followed by panelist presentations and time for questions and answers from the audience. To build on the potential implications for research and practice, panelists will engage the audience in a paired activity to discuss a set of relevant questions. This activity informs a full audience discussion that concludes the panel. Attendees will leave the panel with an understanding of the current issues related to applying social justice‐centric approaches within LIS that can be implemented into future research and practice.