Outsiders‐within‐Library and Information Science: Reprioritizing the Marginalized in Critical Sociocultural Work

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

library and information science education; paradigms; standpoint theory; critical sociocultural work; marginalized populations; diversity


While there are calls for new paradigms within the profession, there are also existing subgenres that fit this bill if they would be fully acknowledged. This essay argues that underrepresented and otherwise marginalized scholars have already produced significant work within social, cultural, and community‐oriented paradigms; social justice and advocacy; and, diversity, equity, and inclusion. This work has not been sufficiently valued or promoted. Furthermore, the surrounding structural conditions have resulted in the dismissal, violently reviewed and rejected, and erased work of underrepresented scholars, and the stigmatization and delegitimization of their work. These scholars are “outsiders‐within‐LIS.” By identifying the outsiders‐within‐LIS through the frame of standpoint theories, the authors are suggesting that a new paradigm does not need to be created; rather, an existing paradigm needs to be recognized and reprioritized. This reprioritized paradigm of critical sociocultural work has and will continue to creatively enrich and expand the field and decolonize LIS curricula.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

APA Citation

Cooke, N. A., & Kitzie, V. L. (2021). Outsiders-within-library and information science: Reprioritizing the marginalized in critical sociocultural work. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.