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Gender differences within the German-language Wikipedia

Les différences entre les sexes au sein du projet Wikipédia en allemand
[journal article]

Sichler, Almut; Prommer, Elizabeth

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Abstract The Wikipedia project constitutes the currently most-used and most comprehensive online encyclopedia in the world (Schneider, 2008, p. 35) and is advertising itself as free and open for everyone, and in terms of an encyclopedia as diverse and balanced at all levels. But from a gender perspective there is a huge discrepancy in sex ratio within Wikipedia’s community. In 2005, researchers at University of Würzburg found that women constitute only 10 % of German-language Wikipedia authors (Schroer&Hertel, 2009, p. 104). This fact leads to the presumption, that Wikipedia’s reflection of the world mediates and interprets a mainly male conception of the world and thus displays an inequality with reference to modern society. Proceeding from the assumption that women and men have different communication behaviours as well as different perceptions and interpretations of communication in almost all aspects of social interaction including e.g. conversational strategies, conflict management and negotiation skills, we hypothesize that these different ways of communication significantly affect the motivation of female Wikipedia contributors.
Keywords Wikipedia; web 2.0; internet community; communication behavior; gender-specific factors; gender relations
Classification Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies; Sociology of Communication, Sociology of Language, Sociolinguistics; Media Contents, Content Analysis
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 77-93
Journal ESSACHESS - Journal for Communication Studies, 7 (2014) 2
Issue topic How does Gender matter? Analyzing media discourses, media organizations and media practices
ISSN 1775-352X
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial