The proper care and feeding of hackerspaces: Care ethics and cultures of making

Austin L. Toombs, Shaowen Bardzell, J. Bardzell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

129 Scopus citations

Abstract

Communities of making have been at the center of attention in popular, business, political, and academic research circles in recent years. In HCI, they seem to carry the promise of new forms of computer use, education, innovation, and even ways of life. In the West in particular, the maker manifestos of these communities have shown strong elements of a neoliberal ethos, one that prizes self-determination, techsavvy, independence, freedom from government, suspicion of authority, and so forth. Yet such communities, to function as communities, also require values of collaboration, cooperation, interpersonal support-in a word, care. In this ethnographic study, we studied and participated as members of a hackerspace for 19 months, focusing in particular not on their technical achievements, innovations, or for glimmers of a more sustainable future, but rather to make visible and to analyze the community maintenance labor that helps the hackerspace support the practices that its members, society, and HCI research are so interested in. We found that the maker ethic entails a complex negotiation of both a neoliberal libertarian ethos and a care ethos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2015 - Proceedings of the 33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationCrossings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages629-638
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450331456
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 18 2015
Event33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Apr 18 2015Apr 23 2015

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Volume2015-April

Other

Other33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
CitySeoul
Period4/18/154/23/15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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