Friday, May 17, 2013

Significance of the Study and Expected Outcomes

Through the identification and exploration of the various obstacles faced by both female editors and non-editors in India, this proposed study will show that many of these challenges are specific to the societal, social and economic realities of individual and/or groups of Indian women. As was pointed out in the research problem, much of the prior research on the editing gender gap has looked at the experiences of the female editing population in general, which puts the research findings of those studies in jeopardy of predominately representing the experiences of women from the English-speaking Western world. Any efforts to resolve the gender gap in the Indian contributor communities that do not take into account the contextual nature of the challenges faced by Indian women are likely to recreate the same exclusionary trends that already exist within these groups. The outputs of this study will therefore not only be highly conducive to the production of more effective efforts and projects to attract and retain female editors in India, but will help the Wikimedia community at large to better understand the complexities of the gender gap in Wikipedia. Accordingly, it is my hope that this study will stimulate, and behave as a basic structure for, similar regional and population-specific explorations of the Wikipedia gender gap.

Furthermore, I do not expect this study to generate a highly nuanced, representative account of the barriers and challenges that Indian women face to their participation in the editing of Wikipedia; instead, as it is the first region and population-specific research on the gender gap in Wikipedia, the findings of this study will provide an initial exploration of the topic that will hopefully stimulate more extensive research in this area. 

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