restructuring of its schedules, the fact remains that it is still structurally representative of
Dewey’s original classification scheme.
Kau (257-59), who examined the biases contained in the 400 and 800 schedules,explained one of the problems of the Dewey classification scheme is that it assumes and allowsfor the majority of space to be given to the Western world and leaves only a small amount of space for all of the others.
Class 800 (literature) is organized by language. “One problem with
organizing the literature section by language, and the one that is most cited, is this ordering of classification facets breaks up national literatures of countries that employ more than onelanguage
The problem is that it relegates non-Western languages, and thus the people whospeak these languages, to being afterthou
ghts in its organization of knowledge”
(Kau 260).There are, in fact,
other groups relegated to be afterthoughts of Dewey’s organization of
knowledge. The class of 600, which organizes medicine and classifies diseases as affecting onebody part/system, is laden with these groups from the 1876 edition to the current edition of DDC.Before delving into one example, one might need a brief reason as to why this is problematic.Until the late 1800s disease had been thought of as: an infliction, a punishment, an evildoing of some God, and even an imbalance in body fluid that needed to be excreted out of thebody in some way (Majno and Joris 11-12). In the mid -1800s, the scientific communityembraced the cellular theory of disease. In 1858, Rudolph Virchow gave a series of lectures,
Cellular Pathology as Based upon Physiological and Pathological Histology
, which set inmotion our current understanding of disease on a cellular level (Majno and Joris 14). Yet,D
ewey’s first edition (
1876), Classification and Subject Index for a Library, listed diseases in thesubject index as affecting one body part/system, and then randomly listed specific diseases suchas bronchitis and cholera. In the 1876 edition, medicine is listed in the Useful Arts Division with