Unsettling Knowledge Synthesis Methods Using Institutional Ethnography: Reflections on the Scoping Review as a Critical Knowledge Synthesis Tool Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Scoping reviews are an increasingly popular knowledge synthesis method. While knowledge synthesis methods abound in evidence-based practices, these methods are critiqued for their reliance on positivism. Drawing on a scoping review that mapped scholarly conceptualizations of family caregivers’ information-related dementia care work, in this article, I reconcile institutional ethnography’s epistemological and ontological assumptions with the prescribed scoping review framework. I first explore the textual organization of scoping reviews. I then unpack the process of modifying three scoping review stages in keeping with an institutional ethnography method of inquiry, and in doing so, transform the scoping review into a critical knowledge synthesis tool. Through a reflexive process, I deconstruct scoping review’s textual authority and uncover that scoping reviews bring about a double decontextualization of family caregivers’ information work, removing family caregivers from their experiences of their information-related care work while simultaneously reducing them to objects of techno-scientific interventions.

publication date

  • August 21, 2020