Fixing the floating gap: The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place

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Fixing the floating gap: The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place
Authors: Christian Pentzold [edit item]
Citation: Memory Studies 2 (2): 255-272. 2009.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Google Scholar cites: Citations
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Added by Wikilit team: Yes
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Fixing the floating gap: The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place is a publication by Christian Pentzold.


[edit] Abstract

The article proposes to interpret the web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place. After presenting the core elements and basic characteristics of wikis and Wikipedia respectively, the article discusses four related issues of social memory studies: collective memory, communicative and cultural memory, ‘memory places’ and the ‘floating gap’. In a third step, these theoretical premises are connected to the understanding of discourse as social cognition. Fourth, comparison is made between the potential of the World Wide Web as cyberspace for collective remembrance and the obstacles that stand in its way. On this basis, the article argues that Wikipedia presents a global memory place where memorable elements are negotiated. Its complex processes of discussion and article creation are a model of the discursive fabrication of memory. Thus, they can be viewed and analysed as the transition, the ‘floating gap’ between communicative and collective frames of memory.

[edit] Research questions

""The article proposes to interpret the web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place." (p. 255)"

Research details

Topics: Epistemology, Other participation outcomes [edit item]
Domains: Knowledge management, Sociology [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: ""I outline four theoretical premises, the concepts of: collective memory,

communicative and cultural memory, ‘memory places’ and the idea of the ‘floating gap’." (p. 256)" [edit item]

Research design: Conceptual [edit item]
Data source: N/A [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: N/A [edit item]
Unit of analysis: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia language: N/A [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

""The argument that Wikipedia is a global memory place started from Halbwachs’s insight into the collective, communicative nature of memory. In this regard, the online encyclopaedia provides an ideal example of the discursive organization of remembrance and the different observable steps of memory work as they evolve online. Its combination of article and talk pages allows for the investigation of a ‘fl oating gap’. This concept, which was originally modelled by Jan Vansina to explain the differences between communicative and cultural memory in oral cultures, can be interpreted as the gradual passage from disputed points of view in everyday discussions to the formalized character of an encyclopaedic article. In this process, the wealth of arguments advanced during the discussions slims down to the set of validated statements that form the article. Everything else becomes part of an archive that may possibly be re-addressed in later discourses." (p. 267)"

[edit] Comments


Further notes[edit]

About the journal: "Memory Studies affords recognition, form and direction to work in this nascent field, and provides a critical forum for dialogue and debate on the theoretical, empirical, and methodological issues central to a collaborative understanding of memory today. Memory Studies examines the social, cultural, cognitive, political and technological shifts affecting how, what and why individuals, groups and societies remember, and forget." http://mss.sagepub.com/

Facts about "Fixing the floating gap: The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place"RDF feed
AbstractThe article proposes to interpret the web-The article proposes to interpret the web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place. After presenting the core elements and basic characteristics of wikis and Wikipedia respectively, the article discusses four related issues of social memory studies: collective memory, communicative and cultural memory, ‘memory places’ and the ‘floating gap’. In a third step, these theoretical premises are connected to the understanding of discourse as social cognition. Fourth, comparison is made between the potential of the World Wide Web as cyberspace for collective remembrance and the obstacles that stand in its way. On this basis, the article argues that Wikipedia presents a global memory place where memorable elements are negotiated. Its complex processes of discussion and article creation are a model of the discursive fabrication of memory. Thus, they can be viewed and analysed as the transition, the ‘floating gap’ between communicative and collective frames of memory.unicative and collective frames of memory.
Added by wikilit teamYes +
Collected data time dimensionN/A +
Conclusion"The argument that Wikipedia is a global m"The argument that Wikipedia is a global memory place started from Halbwachs’s

insight into the collective, communicative nature of memory. In this regard, the online encyclopaedia provides an ideal example of the discursive organization of remembrance and the different observable steps of memory work as they evolve online. Its combination of article and talk pages allows for the investigation of a ‘fl oating gap’. This concept, which was originally modelled by Jan Vansina to explain the differences between communicative and cultural memory in oral cultures, can be interpreted as the gradual passage from disputed points of view in everyday discussions to the formalized character of an encyclopaedic article. In this process, the wealth of arguments advanced during the discussions slims down to the set of validated statements that form the article. Everything else becomes part of an archive that may possibly be re-addressed in later discourses." (p. 267)e-addressed

in later discourses." (p. 267)
Data sourceN/A +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Fixing%2Bthe%2Bfloating%2Bgap%3A%2BThe%2Bonline%2Bencyclopaedia%2BWikipedia%2Bas%2Ba%2Bglobal%2Bmemory%2Bplace%22 +
Has authorChristian Pentzold +
Has domainKnowledge management + and Sociology +
Has topicEpistemology + and Other participation outcomes +
Issue2 +
Pages255-272 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inMemory Studies +
Research designConceptual +
Research questions"The article proposes to interpret the web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place." (p. 255)
Revid10,776 +
Theories"I outline four theoretical premises, the concepts of: collective memory, communicative and cultural memory, ‘memory places’ and the idea of the ‘floating gap’." (p. 256)
Theory typeAnalysis +
TitleFixing the floating gap: The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place
Unit of analysisN/A +
Volume2 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionN/A +
Wikipedia languageN/A +
Wikipedia page typeN/A +
Year2009 +