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SSCI 299: SocialScienceSYE

How to think like a Social Scientist: Information is constructed.

Who gets to construct information?

Question: What does the gender gap mean for the construction of information on Wikipedia? 

Wikipedia editors are known as Wikipedians.

Although in theory anyone can edit Wikipedia, in reality only a small minority of users actively edit the site. According to Wikipedia, of the more than 26,000,000 registered users on the English language site only about 35,000 users made more than five edits during the month of December 2012.

In addition there is a significant and well documented gender gap on Wikipedia. Eighty-Two percent of Wikipedia editors are male.

Click here for more on the demographic information on  Wikipedians.

Review the information on Women and  Wikipedia including the demographics and at least one of the articles found in the links below. 

Consider these questions for your group presentation.

  • Is there a gender gap in Wikipedia? Do you agree?
  • How does this affects the construction of information on Wikipedia?
  • Do you think this problem is confined to Wikipedia?
  • What other groups might be marginalized in their ability to construct information?
  • Can you find evidence of this issue in the Wikipedia pages of politicians? *For example Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

For your group presentation be prepared to share:

  • Your specific question or problem.
  • A bit of background so that we understand the topic.
  • The major issues you discovered in trying to deconstruct the information.
  • Which sources were helpful in exploring the problem.
  • Any roadblocks or problems you encountered.
  • What information did you find beyond the links provided?
  • How did that inform your understanding?
  • What you decided as a group, or individually if you didn't agree.