ISKO Italy Open conference systems, Paradigms and conceptual systems in KO

Bias in indexing languages: theorethical approaches about feminine issues

Suellen Oliveira Milani, José Augusto Chaves Guimarães

Building: Main building
Room: Hall V
Date: 2010-02-26 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Last modified: 2009-12-31


The process of knowledge representation as well as its procedures or tools and its products are not neutral in terms of values; instead they imply moral values. In this context, bias in representation related to prejudice and discrimination, to gender issues, to dicotomic categorization in classification systems or in thesauri and to lack of cultural warrant may arise. Concerning the problem of bias in indexing languages, starting from the initial theoretical reflexions of Brey (1999), Berman (1993), Olson (1998; 2002), López-Huertas Pérez & Torres Ramírez (2005), Guimarães (2006), Hjørland (2008) and Milani et al. (2009), the proposal is to present a preliminary categorization aiming at facilitating the identification of bias concerning feminine issues in indexing languages, to offer a contribution to the theoretical universe of the specific questions of knowledge organization and to present a theme to be discussed by educators and professionals in the areas of cataloging, classification and indexing. If in a society which intends to be politically correct, social attitudes towards stigmatized citizens should be modified, then, the universe of indexing languages, taken as tools of knowledge representation, is a fertile field to sow this reflexion.