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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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Section IV. Case Studies Introduction (Jeremy Hunsinger)


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Section IV. Case Studies Introduction


Wilfrid Laurier University

The chapters in this section are case studies of makerspaces, hackerspace, and hacklabs in western and non-western contexts. They examine specific countries and places where cultural specificities undermine easy generalizations about hacking and making. That is, they allow us to examine, understand, and even challenge how people act collectively in particular situations. Our inclination to include case studies is that specific trajectories and transversals in the world of hacking and making cannot be seen from broader overviews and global/hegemonic perspectives. Therefore, the chapters in this section should be read in relation to the rest of the chapters in this book, as they fill in niches and clarify possibilities raised elsewhere.

Pip Shea, in her study of Farset Labs and its use of the Raspberry Pi, introduces us to questions of social innovation in relation to appropriate technologies. Her exploration of the community of practice in the lab describes the critical interplay of material and cultural discourses that surround social innovation and technology. To the outsider, that system of relations might seem simple, but this case study emphasizes the complexities internal to the operation of the hackerspace in its context. Shea’s exposition demonstrates the how hackerspaces become gendered by drawing on feminist theories of community and knowledge. Tensions derived from her feminist analysis drive her demand for more pragmatic interventions in the relations between social innovation...

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