IN VARIETATE CONCORDIA? WIKIPEDIA EDITOR DEBATES ABOUT EU CULTURE

Susanne Kopf

Abstract

This paper addresses how the Wikipedia community has debated the existence of an EU culture on a Wikipedia discussion site between 2001 and 2019. That is, a corpus of discussions among Wikipedia editors (‘Wikipedians’) was examined to shed light on how the Wikipedians involved argue for/against the idea that an overarching EU culture exists at present. This, combined with an examination of debates about concrete cultural elements associated with the EU, permits an insight into Wikipedians’ conception(s) of the union. Drawing on argumentation analysis shows that the data examined indicates that cultural commonality across EU member states is not necessarily ascribed to the EU but to their being European countries. Additionally, even Wikipedians who argue that an overarching EU culture exists do not necessarily actually subscribe to this view but argue for reference to cultural elements in the Wikipedia article on the EU in order to signal to Wikipedia readers that the EU is “more than a set of treaties”.

Keywords

European Union; Wikipedia discussions; culture; nationhood; corpus-assisted discourse analysis; argumentation analysis

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https://doi.org/10.5817/DI2021-1-53


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