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Making Our World

The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context

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Edited By Jeremy Hunsinger and Andrew Schrock

Making Our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context describes and situates the political, historical, national, and organizational elements of hacking and making. Hackers and makers are often mythologized, leading to people misunderstanding them as folk heroes for the modern age. In response, this book describes and critiques these movements from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives to help readers appreciate their worldwide scope and highly localized interpretations. Making Our World is essential reading for students and scholars of technology and society, particularly those interested in social movements and DIY cultures.

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3. Making Civic Media in the Post-Fukushima Japanese Media Ecology (Yasuhito Abe)

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3. Making Civic Media in the Post-Fukushima Japanese Media Ecology

YASUHITO ABE

Komazawa University

On March 11, 2011, a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami devastated northeastern coastal regions in Japan. The combined natural disasters knocked out critical cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which released a tremendous amount of radioactive material into the air. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster turned out to be the largest nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986. In the wake of the disaster, the Japanese government repeatedly emphasized that no immediate health effects would be caused by the radiation released from the power plant; unfortunately, citizens also suffered from a serious lack of practically useful data related to radiation in their everyday lives (Fukushima genpatsujiko dokuritsu kenshō iinkai, 2012). This discrepancy provided opportunities for collective action.

As in the case of the Chernobyl disaster (e.g., Abe, 2015), the Fukushima disaster ultimately created its own public, who can be roughly described as a networked measuring public; this public became a fundamental aspect of the post-Fukushima social landscape in Japan. Within the first week after the disaster, a wide variety of citizens not only measured the radiation levels in the air using their own dosimeters but also circulated the resulting data among themselves through digital media, reshaping themselves as a specific public.1 Among the diverse kinds of networked measuring public, this study focuses on...

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