Wikipedia and Encyclopaedism: A Genre Analysis of Epistemological Values

FieldValue
dc.contributor.authorJankowski, Steven J.
dc.date.accessioned2013-05-14T20:19:21Z
dc.date.available2013-05-14T20:19:21Z
dc.date.created2013
dc.date.issued2013
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10393/24160
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-3001
dc.description.abstractThis thesis considers how Wikipedia justifies, structures, and legitimizes its production of knowledge. To do so the thesis positions Wikipedia as a site of conflict over the epistemic values between its wiki and encyclopaedic traditions. Through the literature review, the wiki epistemology is argued to be composed of six values: self-identification, collaboration, co-construction, cooperation, trust in the community, and constructionism. While these values are explicit, encyclopaedism’s were not found to be equally defined. To fill this gap, the thesis conducts a genre analysis of encyclopaedism. It first identifies the genre through its communicative purposes to create a universal system of total knowledge and to use this system to educate the public. Second, an analysis of recurrent social contexts within Chambers’ Cyclopaedia (1728), Diderot & d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie (1751–72), the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1771–), and Wikipedia (2001–) finds that the communicative purposes are achieved through the use of five epistemic values: utility, systematic organization, authority, trust in experts, and consistency. Third, a comparison spanning 240 years between Wikipedia and the Britannica’s article headings finds that the value of systematic organization structures Wikipedia’s articles using seventeenth century categories of knowledge. Having established two sets of values that determine Wikipedia’s production of knowledge, the thesis sets the stage for future research to analyze how Wikipedia’s epistemology is articulated in its different production spaces. Ultimately, such research may not only describe the shifting values of Wikipedia’s epistemology but also explain how knowledge is transformed and produced in the network society.
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversité d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa
dc.subjectWikipedia
dc.subjectknowledge
dc.subjectencyclopedism
dc.subjectgenre analysis
dc.subjectnetwork society
dc.subjectepistemology
dc.titleWikipedia and Encyclopaedism: A Genre Analysis of Epistemological Values
dc.typeThesis
dc.faculty.departmentCommunication
dc.contributor.supervisorLévy, Pierre
dc.embargo.termsimmediate
dc.degree.nameMA
dc.degree.levelmasters
dc.degree.disciplineArts
thesis.degree.nameMA
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.disciplineArts
uottawa.departmentCommunication
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -

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