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Hackers, cyborgs, and wikipedians: the political economy and cultural history of Wikipedia
Abstract This dissertation explores the political eThis dissertation explores the political economy and cultural history of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It demonstrates how Wikipedia, an influential and popular site of knowledge production and distribution, was influenced by its heritage from the hacker communities of the late twentieth century. More specifically, Wikipedia was shaped by an ideal I call, “the cyborg individual,” which held that the production of knowledge was best entrusted to a widely distributed network of individual human subjects and individually owned computers. I trace how this ideal emerged from hacker culture in response to anxieties hackers experienced due to their intimate relationships with machines. I go on to demonstrate how this ideal influenced how Wikipedia was understood both those involved in the early history of the site, and those writing about it. In particular, legal scholar Yochai Benkler seems to base his understanding of Wikipedia and its strengths on the cyborg individual ideal. Having established this, I then move on to show how the cyborg individual ideal misunderstands Wikipedia's actual method of production. Most importantly, it overlooks the importance of how the boundaries drawn around communities and shared technological resources shape Wikipedia's content. I then proceed to begin the process of building what I believe is a better way of understanding Wikipedia, by tracing how communities and shared resources shape the production of recent Wikipedia articles.e production of recent Wikipedia articles.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Conclusion "the cyborg individual ideal misunderstand"the cyborg individual ideal misunderstands Wikipedia's actual method of production. Most importantly, it overlooks the importance of how the boundaries drawn around communities and shared technological resources shape Wikipedia's content. I then proceed to begin the process of building what I believe is a better way of understanding Wikipedia, by tracing how communities and shared resources shape the production of recent Wikipedia articles." production of recent Wikipedia articles."
Data source Websites  + , Wikipedia pages  +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Hackers%2C%2Bcyborgs%2C%2Band%2Bwikipedians%3A%2Bthe%2Bpolitical%2Beconomy%2Band%2Bcultural%2Bhistory%2Bof%2BWikipedia%22  +
Has author Andrew A. Famiglietti +
Has domain Economics + , Sociology +
Has topic Legal infrastructure + , Culture and values of Wikipedia + , Policies and governance +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Thesis  +
Published in Bowling Green State University +
Research design Historical analysis  +
Research questions Existing studies, while providing importanExisting studies, while providing important quantitative and qualitative background information about Wikipedia, fail to address the important questions about the peer production method raised by the cultural studies authors reviewed above. In this study, I hope to take seriously both the call that arises from cultural studies to take power as more than a simple binary, while simultaneously taking seriously the specific history and practices of Wikipedia itself. Each of the chapters in this dissertation has a distinct roll to play in this larger project.tinct roll to play in this larger project.
Revid 10,798  +
Theories In this chapter I will present the specifIn this chapter I will present the specific theoretical frame and methods I will employ in my study of Wikipedia. Two authors are key to my theoretical frame. Bruno Latour's Actor-Network sociology broadly informs my understanding of Wikipedia. In particular, I draw from Latour's understanding of agency, his model of social relationships, and his understanding of what it means to say that facts are “constructed.” In addition, my methods attempt to follow Latour's admonishment to ”follow the actors” involved in a given social assemblage if one wishes to understand that assemblage. In many ways, my broad borrowing from Latour is the glue that holds the somewhat disparate parts of this dissertation together. The second author I discuss below, N. Katherine Hayles, provides a more direct scaffolding for my work. Hayles' related concepts of “body” and “embodiment” can be usefully expanded to form a concrete basis for examining how the various human and non-human actors (to use Latour's terms) that make up Wikipedia interact.s terms) that make up Wikipedia interact.
Theory type Explanation  +
Title Hackers, cyborgs, and wikipedians: the political economy and cultural history of Wikipedia
Unit of analysis Website  +
Url http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=bgsu1300717552  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language English  +
Wikipedia page type Article  + , Collaboration and coordination  +
Year 2011  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:28:39  +
Categories Legal infrastructure  + , Culture and values of Wikipedia  + , Policies and governance  + , Economics  + , Sociology  + , Publications with missing comments  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:28:38  +
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