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Making Our World

The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context


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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12. The Détente Model of Managing Divergent Values in the Maker-Sphere (Ann Light)


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12. The Détente Model of Managing Divergent Values in the Maker-Sphere


University of Sussex

This chapter describes two studies undertaken to explore the behaviour of groups that are knowingly political in intent, resistant in attitude and determined to be productive in output. I describe design practices that avoid overt negotiation of conflicting social values, specifically because of the political content in these making activities. I use Spivak’s concept of strategic essentialism and de Beauvoir’s idea of the Other to offer an analysis of how self-organising groups manage divergence of values in designing and making as part of social action. In doing so, I begin to show how making itself is part of that negotiation.

Introducing the Maker-Sphere

In this chapter, I argue that radical self-organising makers regularly negotiate the complex issue of agreement on goals and outcomes in collaborative design work for social change; however, they manage much of this without direct appeal to values. To make this argument, I draw on research undertaken as part of a long-term study of activists who design to support social change in Britain. And I frame these insights using post-colonial and feminist scholarship.

In setting out, I should first distinguish this work from that considering makers who do not see their mission as principally political. It is quite possible that other makers use similar tactics to resolve choices and decision points,...

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