DIY Citizenship

Critical Making and Social Media

ISBN: 9780262321228 | Copyright 2014


How social media and DIY communities have enabled new forms of political participation that emphasize doing and making rather than passive consumption.

Today, DIY—do-it-yourself—describes more than self-taught carpentry. Social media enables DIY citizens to organize and protest in new ways (as in Egypt's “Twitter revolution” of 2011) and to repurpose corporate content (or create new user-generated content) in order to offer political counternarratives. This book examines the usefulness and limits of DIY citizenship, exploring the diverse forms of political participation and “critical making” that have emerged in recent years. The authors and artists in this collection describe DIY citizens whose activities range from activist fan blogging and video production to knitting and the creation of community gardens.

Contributors examine DIY activism, describing new modes of civic engagement that include Harry Potter fan activism and the activities of the Yes Men. They consider DIY making in learning, culture, hacking, and the arts, including do-it-yourself media production and collaborative documentary making. They discuss DIY and design and how citizens can unlock the black box of technological infrastructures to engage and innovate open and participatory critical making. And they explore DIY and media, describing activists' efforts to remake and reimagine media and the public sphere. As these chapters make clear, DIY is characterized by its emphasis on “doing” and making rather than passive consumption. DIY citizens assume active roles as interventionists, makers, hackers, modders, and tinkerers, in pursuit of new forms of engaged and participatory democracy.

Mike Ananny, Chris Atton, Alexandra Bal, Megan Boler, Catherine Burwell, Red Chidgey, Andrew Clement, Negin Dahya, Suzanne de Castell, Carl DiSalvo, Kevin Driscoll, Christina Dunbar-Hester, Joseph Ferenbok, Stephanie Fisher, Miki Foster, Stephen Gilbert, Henry Jenkins, Jennifer Jenson, Yasmin B. Kafai, Ann Light, Steve Mann, Joel McKim, Brenda McPhail, Owen McSwiney, Joshua McVeigh-Schultz, Graham Meikle, Emily Rose Michaud, Kate Milberry, Michael Murphy, Jason Nolan, Kate Orton-Johnson, Kylie A. Peppler, David J. Phillips, Karen Pollock, Matt Ratto, Ian Reilly, Rosa Reitsamer, Mandy Rose, Daniela K. Rosner, Yukari Seko, Karen Louise Smith, Lana Swartz, Alex Tichine, Jennette Weber, Elke Zobl

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Contents (pg. v)
Foreword (pg. ix)
Introduction (pg. 1)
I DIY and Activism: New Modes of Civic Engagement and Participatory Politics (pg. 23)
1 Maktivism: Authentic Making for Technology in the Service of Humanity (pg. 29)
2 (Re)making the Internet: Free Software and the Social Factory Hack (pg. 53)
3 Fan Activism as Participatory Politics: The Case of the Harry Potter Alliance (pg. 65)
4 Radical Inclusion? Locating Accountability in Technical DIY (pg. 75)
5 Proportionate ID Cards: Prototyping for Privacy and Accountability (pg. 89)
6 Developing Communities of Resistance? Maker Pedagogies, Do-It-Yourself Feminism, and DIY Citizenship (pg. 101)
7 Rethinking Media Activism through Fan Blogging: How Stewart and Colbert Fans Make a Difference (pg. 115)
8 Just Say Yes: DIY-ing the Yes Men (pg. 127)
II DIY and Making: Learning, Culture, Hacking, and Arts (pg. 137)
9 DIY Citizenship, Critical Making, and Community (pg. 141)
10 Mélange of Making: Bringing Children’s Informal Learning Cultures to the Classroom (pg. 157)
11 Power Struggles: Knowledge Production in a DIY News Club (pg. 169)
12 Transparency Reconsidered: Creative, Critical, and Connected Making with E-textiles (pg. 179)
13 Woven Futures: Inscribed Material Ecologies of Critical Making (pg. 189)
14 Making Publics: Documentary as Do-It-with-Others Citizenship (pg. 201)
15 Mirror Images: Avatar Aesthetics and Self-Representation in Digital Games (pg. 213)
III DIY and Design: Opening the Black Boxand Repurposing Technologies (pg. 223)
16 Textual Doppelgangers: Critical Issues in the Study of Technology (pg. 227)
17 The Growbot Garden Project as DIY Speculation through Design (pg. 237)
18 Doing It in the Cloud: Google, Apple, and the Shaping of DIY Culture (pg. 249)
19 Citizen Innovation: ActiveEnergy and the Quest for Sustainable Design (pg. 259)
20 Le Champ des Possibles—The Field of Possibilities (pg. 269)
21 Distributed Design: Media Technologiesand the Architecture of Participation (pg. 283)
22 “I hate your politics but I love your diamonds”: Citizenship and the Off-Topic Message Board Subforum (pg. 295)
IV DIY and Media: Redistributing Authority and Sources in News Media (pg. 307)
23 Redesigning the Vox Pop: Civic Rituals as Sites of Critical Reimagining (pg. 313)
24 Alternative Media Production, Feminism, and Citizenship Practices (pg. 329)
25 Alternative Media, the Mundane, and “Everyday Citizenship” (pg. 343)
26 Critical News Making and the Paradox of “Do-It-Yourself News” (pg. 359)
27 Social Media, Visibility, and Activism: The Kony 2012 Campaign (pg. 373)
28 A Digital Democracy or Twenty-First-Century Tyranny? CNN’s iReport and the Future of Citizenship in Virtual Spaces (pg. 385)
List of Contributors (pg. 403)
Index (pg. 415)