Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Gerald Markle
Dr. Ronald Kramer
Dr. Donald Cooney
Masters Thesis-Open Access
Encyclopedia text is most often presented as objective, factual, authoritatively documented truth. To examine this knowledge claim, this thesis analyzes the portrayal of the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution in editions of the four major U.S. encyclopedias. A qualitative content analysis is employed to determine the political perspectives present in encyclopedia coverage of the Nicaraguan revolution and the subsequent changes in Nicaraguan political economy brought about by that revolution.
The findings indicate that significant differences among and within the encyclopedias existed in the text analyzed. A variety of political perspectives were found to have influenced the content of the text, and to be linked to the significant differences present in the text. It is concluded that political perspective in encyclopedia text, as in all historical text, is unavoidable. This inevitable lack of objectivity should be acknowledged rather than hidden.
Smith, "Political Perspectives in Encyclopedias: Portrayal of the Nicaraguan Revolution" (1991). Master's Theses. 1014.