Chapter published in:Reference and Identity in Public Discourses
Edited by Ursula Lutzky and Minna Nevala
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 306] 2019
► pp. 159–180
From ‘country’ to ‘confederation’ – debating terms of reference for the EU on a Wikipedia talk page
This chapter deals with Wikipedia editors’ (‘Wikipedians’) discussions about the EU between 2001 and 2015 on the talk page (TP) accompanying the Wikipedia article “European Union” (EU). This TP provides a platform for Wikipedians to debate controversial issues regarding the article on the EU. Taking a corpus-assisted approach to these debates allows an insight into how and why Wikipedians apply and discard different terms of reference and concepts for the EU. Findings indicate that, in particular, the applicability of the terms ‘confederation’, ‘federation’ and ‘country’ was heatedly discussed throughout the TP conversations. The key factor that determined whether Wikipedians supported or rejected use of these terms was how much sovereignty the term in question ascribed to the EU and its members.
Keywords: European Union, Wikipedia, Corpus-Assisted Discourse Studies, public sphere, digital discourse, terms of reference
Published online: 21 October 2019
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Cited by 3 other publications
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