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Fixing the floating gap: The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place
Abstract The 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 team Yes  +
Collected data time dimension N/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 source N/A  +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Fixing%2Bthe%2Bfloating%2Bgap%3A%2BThe%2Bonline%2Bencyclopaedia%2BWikipedia%2Bas%2Ba%2Bglobal%2Bmemory%2Bplace%22  +
Has author Christian Pentzold +
Has domain Knowledge management + , Sociology +
Has topic Epistemology + , Other participation outcomes +
Issue 2  +
Pages 255-272  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in Memory Studies +
Research design Conceptual  +
Research questions "The article proposes to interpret the web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place." (p. 255)
Revid 10,776  +
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 type Analysis  +
Title Fixing the floating gap: The online encyclopaedia Wikipedia as a global memory place
Unit of analysis N/A  +
Volume 2  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction N/A  +
Wikipedia language N/A  +
Wikipedia page type N/A  +
Year 2009  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 14 August 2012 22:01:05  +
Categories Epistemology  + , Other participation outcomes  + , Knowledge management  + , Sociology  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:27:46  +
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