This really deserves a detailed and thorough treatment it won't get here.
The entire point of my dissertation is basically that it's important to integrate across the various diverse literatures that have looked at how scientists communicate in order to adequately understand how any new technologies might be used or be useful (valued/valuable, etc).
Sound impossible much? Kinda sorta, but hey, maybe that's why it's taking me 10 years!
My undergrad is in physics. Masters is in library science (MLS of course). Neither do theory the way, say, sociologists, linguists, communications researchers, or anyone else in the social sciences does. At least at the undergraduate level, you don't have to pick an epistemology and a particular theory when measuring gravity or the wavelength of a laser.
When I look at theories, I basically look at what evidence was used to develop them and what explanatory power they have. Also, I'm very pragmatic and I don't especially adhere dogmatically to any one epistemology.
Working this way gets me into trouble when trying to communicate with someone who is in one of these fields. You're really supposed to pick a viewpoint and use theory as a lens. I do get testing theories. I know how to do that, but there is supposed to be more. I don't know how to own and live and practice a theory.
I'm not terribly convinced others in LIS do, either, despite books on our "theories" and numerous ASIST sessions.
Maybe this is horrible admission? Maybe I have to pick one should I ever go on the academic market (which I don't expect to if any of my colleagues are reading this but really, I might if my committee is reading this)? Maybe I will not be able to get my articles in to communications journals?
It may be a completely different situation, but Paige Jarreau shared similar feedback on twitter:
This scientific publishing thing is becoming like my holy grail. I just can't quite get there! I always get "theory underdeveloped" - alas.
— Dr. Paige Jarreau (@FromTheLabBench) September 27, 2015
I just got the strangest manuscript decision back from Science Communication. 1/n — Dr. Paige Jarreau (@FromTheLabBench) September 26, 2015
And the main reason for rejection was that I didn't have enough theory to back up the findings that I found. Ugh. 4/n
— Dr. Paige Jarreau (@FromTheLabBench) September 26, 2015
Interestingly, when I was looking for the exact tweets to cite, I found her request for an article on theorizing social media.* The author basically complains just the opposite: we're trying to use everyone's old theories and just make them work for social media, even if we have to ignore things like interactivity.
*Kent, M. L. (2015). Social Media Circa 2035: Directions in Social Media Theory Atlantic Journal of Communication, 23, 1-4. doi:10.1080/15456870.2015.972407