The Historical Narrative Formed by Crowd sourcing: Suburbanization

For this week’s post, I looked at the Wikipedia page for Suburbanization. The web page does appear to receive constant editing; unfortunately, going through the discussion board as well as reading the page shows the lack of discussion on the topic and a clear lack of historical understanding of the concept. Furthermore, the writing is appalling within certain sections. There is also a clear lack of discussion on its global impact as well as its historical roots. The article does prove to be encyclopedia material in the sense that it attempts to reject a bias. However, crowdsourcing, unintentionally, creates in own bias due to the lack of interpretation from multiple perspectives. Furthermore, Wikipedia’s frequent editors tend to be older while men and create a narrative driven by their view.

Regarding suburbanization, there is a clear lack of discussion towards the negative implications and no representation of the larger academic discussion on the topic. Firstly, the article does not discuss the thoroughly enough the causes of suburbanization during the mid-twentieth century. The article frequently portrayed suburbanization as a benefit as it allowed many people to escape the urban core. However, there is no discussion of race relations impacting the historic white flight that existed within the United States. Furthermore, the article only briefly discusses its benefits toward white citizens and lacks any discussion of its impact on the urban city. This presents two possible problems: lack of contribution to the topic or a clear bias on the subject.

Although some articles are expanded upon extensively, this article lacks significant information. The Wikipedia article does provide a starting point for the public to understand the topic in its bare form.  However, I understand why academics feel unsure about Wikipedia and crowdsourcing information. People will go to Wikipedia as a source of objective information with no bias; As we know though from our studies, this will never be the case, and that is somewhat troublesome. Without the lack of critical thinking that history and other academic studies provide, Wikipedia can influence the thoughts of public, who do not critically examine the articles. I would say that Wikipedia is beneficial depending on the mindset and perspective of the individual using it.


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