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In the field of library and information science, also known as information studies, critical theory is often not included in debates about the discipline’s theoretical foundations. This paper argues that the critical theory of Herbert Marcuse, in particular, has a significant contribution to make to the field of information studies. Marcuse’s focus, for instance, on ‘technical rationality’ as a tool of domination in modern capitalist society is a useful construct for understanding how discourses of information technology are being used to perpetuate modernist notions of information and capitalist logics of consumption. It is argued here that critical theory theory and critical theory of technology have a particular relevance and salience to the study of information, and that any discipline that claims to study the creation, use, classification, and access of information simply cannot ignore the larger socio-political critiques of modern, technological society that Marcuse proposes.

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