Date of Award

May 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Information Studies

First Advisor

Hur-Li Lee

Committee Members

Richard Smiraglia, Margaret Kipp, Tae-Seop Lim, Kathryn La Barre


CROSS-CULTURAL ADAPTATION, cultural warrant, intercultural warrant, library classification, national library classification, sociocultural influences


I examined the Korean Decimal Classification (KDC)'s adaptation of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) by comparing the two systems. This case manifests the sociocultural influences on KOSs in a cross-cultural context. I focused my analysis on the changes resulting from the meeting of the two cultures, answering the main research question: “How does KDC adapt DDC in terms of underlying sociocultural perspectives in a classificatory form?” I took a comparative approach and address the main research question in two phases. In Phase 1, quantities of class numbers were analyzed by edition and discipline. The main class with the most consistently high number of class numbers in DDC was the social sciences, while the main class with the most consistently high number of class numbers in KDC was technology. The two main classes are expected to differ in semantic contents or specificities. In Phase 2, patterns of adaptations were analyzed by examining the class numbers, captions, and hierarchical relations within the developed adaptation taxonomy. Implementing the taxonomy as a coding scheme brings two comparative features of classifications: 1) semantic contents determined by captions and quantity of subordinate numbers; and 2) structural arrangement determined by ranks, the broader category, presence and the order of subordinate numbers. Surveying proper forms of adaptation resulted in the development of an adaptation taxonomy that will serve as a framework to account for the conflicts between and harmonization of multiple social and cultural influences in knowledge structures. This study has ramifications in theoretical and empirical foundations for the development of “intercultural warrant” in KOSs.