Chapter 3 Theoretical Framework and Methods Used: Cultural Politics of User-Generated Encyclopedias: Comparing Chinese Wikipedia and Baidu Baike
44 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2014
Date Written: 2014
Chapter 3 will establish a theoretical framework based on three concepts: “web spheres”, “processability” and “cultural thickening”. Its fundamental claim is that we are witnessing a development of reintroduction of cultural-political boundaries (e.g. national boundaries) into dominant media-language systems, which reshape the group dynamics between information and users. Researchers must study the corresponding cultural patterns to see how cultural-political boundaries are reintroduced. As the proposed theoretical framework has both quantitative and qualitative dimensions in relation to cultural patterns, the thesis develops a multi-method of structured, focused comparison (George & Bennett, 2004; Drozdova & Gaubatz, 2009) to examine how the two encyclopaedia websites deal with the existing cultural-political boundaries. This chapter will thus present a comparative case study that uses mixed methods to gather evidence from three main areas of user-generated content projects: editorial development, content outcome, and user reception, each of which will be discussed in turn in Chapter 4, Chapter 5 and Chapter 6.
3.1 Three main concepts 67 3.2 Mixed methods: geolinguistic analysis of cultural patterns 95 3.3 Overall expected outcomes 105
Keywords: multi-method comparative case study of structured, focused comparison; webometrics; web spheres; processability; cultural thickening
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