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ERIC Number: EJ989434
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
The Politics of Encyclopaedias
Fozooni, Babak
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v10 n2 p314-344 Oct 2012
The paper assesses the political credibility of three encyclopaedias (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopedia of Marxism and Wikipedia) in relation to three chosen topics (Friedrich Engels's biography; the political philosophy of fascism; and, the discipline of social psychology). I was interested in discerning how entries are represented and critically evaluated within each encyclopaedia. What epistemological foundations are at work? What type of information is privileged and what is marginalised? And, most importantly, how effective are the descriptions in terms of demystifying capitalist social relations? My findings suggest that the political narratives of Encyclopaedia Britannica are the least intellectually credible of the three. Whilst all three possess weaknesses, a combination of Encyclopedia of Marxism and Wikipedia should provide a thorough and, by and large, trustworthy starting point for any analyst investigating social phenomena.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A