Quantifying Americanization in different parts of the world using Wikipedia and Wikidata

The Social Science Computer Review journal published the paper “Quantifying Americanization: Coverage of American Topics in Different Wikipedias“. This is the first quantitative study that confirms various theories about Americanization and related phenomena often discussed in scientific literature.

The study focuses on a global analysis of the phenomenon of Americanization, carried out by comparing the content of articles thematically related to the United States in different language versions of Wikipedia. For this purpose, over 90 million Wikidata elements and over 40 million Wikipedia articles in 58 language versions were analyzed. The main goal was to determine the extent to which Americanization is present in different languages, regions and cultures.

Wikipedia, as one of the most popular sources of information in the world, is edited by a wide, global community. Thanks to the principle of open access to editing, this encyclopedia reflects the diversity of topics. Data from Wikipedia can be incredibly useful for researching social trends across different parts of the world due to its comprehensive and global coverage. The platform’s collaborative nature ensures that information is constantly updated, reflecting the latest developments and shifts in societal interests and behaviors. Wikipedia’s extensive range of articles includes detailed historical contexts, societal norms, and cultural phenomena specific to various regions, providing a rich dataset for comparative analysis. However, each language version of Wikipedia is created and edited independently, which may lead to differences in the scope and completeness of topics presented depending on their importance in a given language community. The availability of data in multiple languages allows researchers to access information directly relevant to the regions being studied, overcoming language barriers that might limit the scope of their research. Additionally, Wikipedia’s references and citations offer pathways to primary sources and further reading, enabling a deeper dive into specific trends and facilitating the validation of the information presented.

This study demonstrates that open data from Wikipedia and Wikidata can be used to quantify various social science concepts that were previously considered difficult or even unrealistic to measure. Scientific article entitled “Quantifying Americanization: Coverage of American Topics in Different Wikipedias” was published on the SAGE Publications website. Authors of the work: Piotr Konieczny, Włodzimierz Lewoniewski. The preprint version of the scientific publication is also available.

Sources: ue.poznan.pl, kie.ue.poznan.pl, en.lewoniewski.info