Sarah Whitwell (McMaster University) has authored a post for the Lewis & Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship’s blog, entitled “Resistance, Racialized Violence, and Database Design,” detailing her work defining “resistance” for a database schema:
When inputting data on incidents of racialized violence, for example, I must decide how to code types of violence… It is also necessary, however, to define resistance. Recently, there has been a proliferation of scholarship on resistance. But scholars have often failed to define resistance in any systematic way. This poses a challenge for creating a database that requires a concrete definition to ensure consistency. Where resistance is loosely defined, it is possible to see it almost everywhere and nowhere.
Whitwell breaks down some keywords she chose in order to facilitate coding resistance in her data set: theft, discursive insubordination, testimony, burial rights, protection, self defense, and migration. Whitwell’s approach in determining how to define and code for resistance will be useful for information professionals as they consider critical work of defining, cataloging, and providing access to materials.