Debating the European Union transnationally: Wikipedians’ construction of the EU on a Wikipedia talk page (2001-2015)

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This thesis deals with the constructions of the EU negotiated among contributors to the English Wikipedia between 2001 and 2015. It focuses on the Talk Page (TP) which accompanies the Wikipedia article on the EU and provides a space for Wikipedia contributors to discuss and resolve controversial issues regarding the article.
The EU has received considerable attention in Critical Discourse Studies, e.g. questions regarding language policy and discourses surrounding topics relevant to the EU have been addressed (e.g. Muntigl et al. 2000; Unger et al. 2014; Wodak 2007). However, private individuals¿ attempts to make sense of this sui generis when faced with the task of defining the EU have hardly been touched upon. In this context, Wikipedia constitutes an ideal repository of data as it has recorded debates on the institution since 2001. Taking a corpus-assisted approach (cf. Partington 2010), I examine how contributors from various backgrounds have grappled with their understanding of the EU.
Additionally, this study explores aspects of Wikipedia since this collaboratively-created encyclopaedia has received little research attention. Taking the EU on Wikipedia as a starting point, this thesis presents a foray into how Wikipedia can be approached from a CDS perspective. That is, on the one hand, it identifies central aspects of this website¿s structure and addresses core policies that guide Wikipedia operations and thus shape Wikipedia data. On the other hand, it examines the site¿s societal impact/relevance and evaluates to what extent it can function as a transnational public sphere.
Effective start/end date1/09/141/06/18

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Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (OEFOS)

  • 509
  • 602004 General linguistics
  • 605