Wikipedia and the politics of mass collaboration

Tkacz, Nathaniel. 2010. Wikipedia and the politics of mass collaboration. Platform: Journal of Media and Communication, 2(2), pp. 40-53. ISSN 1836-5132 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Working together to produce socio-technological objects, based on emergent platforms of economic production, is of great importance in the task of political transformation and the creation of new subjectivities. Increasingly, “collaboration” has become a veritable buzzword used to describe the human associations that create such new media objects. In the language of “Web 2.0”, “participatory culture”, “user-generated content”, “peer production” and the “produser”, first and foremost we are all collaborators. In this paper I investigate recent literature that stresses the collaborative nature of Web 2.0, and in particular, works that address the nascent processes of peer production. I contend that this material positions such projects as what Chantal Mouffe has described as the “post-political”; a fictitious space far divorced from the clamour of the everyday. I analyse one Wikipedia entry to demonstrate the distance between this post-political discourse of collaboration and the realities it describes, and finish by arguing for a more politicised notion of collaboration.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


September 2010Published

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Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2023 09:43

Last Modified:

26 Sep 2023 09:46

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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