Space Invasion In The Academic Library: A Poststructural Analysis Using Discourse, Power/Knowledge, And Biopower

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alex McAllister, Associate Professor, Coordinator of Collection Management (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Alecia Jackson

Abstract: This dissertation is a poststructural analysis of the trend of space utilization and design in academic libraries. Using post qualitative inquiry and a method of plugging in, this study offers a critique of the library science literature on space, identifying binary relationships and power circulating in both library patrons and library staff. Poststructural concepts of discourse, deconstruction, power/knowledge, and biopower, in connection with the library science literature, work to identify these binary relationships and power relations that alter subjectivities and practices of patrons and library staff. One central finding is that numerous discourses are working to renovate spaces based on a consumerist approach focused on technology and social gathering, as well as a perceived obsolescence that administrators experience in future planning. In addition to calling for leadership that follows poststructural methods, this dissertation analyzes how power and power relations have the potential to rearrange how patrons and librarians situate themselves in library spaces. Finally, in studying the dominant discourse of space, the analysis also examines how library spaces operate as a site of biopower. Transitioning to Foucault’s notion of biopower uncovers how the library population of faculty, students, and community members, as well as library employees, become controlled and regulated through the normalization of discourses on space. Because space changes to libraries are developed through discourse and power, and poststructuralism interprets language as being socially constructed, there is a need to deconstruct the “truths” that have gained traction making library space part of a dominant set of binaries.

Additional Information

McAllister, A. (2021). Space Invasion In The Academic Library: A Poststructural Analysis Using Discourse, Power/Knowledge, And Biopower. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2021
Poststructuralism, Academic libraries, Space, Foucault, Discourse and power

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