The Wikipedia Global Consciousness Index: A Measurement of the Awareness and Meaning of the World-as-a-Whole
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTo supplement current globalization indexes, I propose a new index, the Wikipedia Global Consciousness Index (WikiGCI). Available indexes that measure globalization rely on network definitions for their theoretical frameworks and count objects crossing borders. The WikiGCI, defined as a measure of awareness and meaning of the world-as-a-whole, is founded on Robertson’s (1992, 2009, 2011) suggestion of global consciousness. The first research objective is to construct the new index as an empirical assessment of global consciousness by applying the top 100 global articles as the empirical units. Global articles are the Wikipedia articles edited in the most countries, identified by geolocating the IP address edits. Furthermore, I discursively analyze how these Wikipedia articles express global consciousness by statements of global wholeness in their narratives. I also apply Steger and James’ (2013, 2019) analysis of global social meaning to the global articles to identify how editors express ideology, imaginaries, and categories of the being-in-the-world. The second research objective is to discursively analyze regional patterns in Wikipedia’s global and local articles. I performed a mixed method, multilingual discursive analysis to examine how four globalizing discourses (references to the countries in the world’s economic core, the use of English in citations, references to international media institutions, and the monetization of commodities) can distinguish place representations between two groups of articles. One group of articles edited only in Peru, Russia and the U.S. were local articles with local representations. The other group consisted of the global articles edited in those three countries as well as the rest of the world that contained the widest, shared representation of the world. This discourse analysis reveals that the representation of the world is not strictly determined by the core. While the socio-economic power in the core creates the globalizing discourses, non-core editors engage with the discourses to depict the world based on the socio-historic conditions of their countries.
Degree ProgramGraduate College