DIY Citizenship

DIY Citizenship

Critical Making and Social Media

ISBN 9780262321211
464 pp.
March 2014

Content Publisher
The MIT Press

DIY Citizenship

Critical Making and Social Media

Foreword by
Ronald Deibert

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.

Contributors: 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.


  1. Foreword

    Ron Deibert

  2. Introduction

    Matt Ratto and Megan Boler

  3. I. DIY and Activism: New Modes of Civic Engagement and Participatory Politics
  4. 1. Maktivism: Authentic Making for Technology in the Service of Humanity

    Steve Mann

  5. 2. (Re)making the Internet: Free Software and the Social Factory Hack

    Kate Milberry

  6. 3. Fan Activism as Participatory Politics: The Case of the Harry Potter Alliance

    Henry Jenkins

  7. 4. Radical Inclusion? Locating Accountability in Technical DIY

    Christina Dunbar-Hester

  8. 5. Proportionate ID Cards: Prototyping for Privacy and Accountability

    Brenda McPhail, Andrew Clement, Karen Louise Smith, Jennette Weber, Joseph Ferenbok, and Alex Tichine

  9. 6. Developing Communities of Resistance? Maker Pedagogies, Do-It-Yourself Feminism, and DIY Citizenship

    Red Chidgey

  10. 7. Rethinking Media Activism through Fan Blogging: How Stewart and Colbert Fans Make a Difference

    Catherine Burwell and Megan Boler

  11. 8. Just Say Yes: DIY-ing the Yes Man

    Ian Reilly

  12. II. DIY and Making: Learning, Culture, Hacking, and Arts
  13. 9. DIY Citizenship, Critical Making, and Community

    Kate Orton-Johnson

  14. 10. Mélange of Making: Bringing Children’s Informal Learning Cultures to the Classroom

    Alexandra Bal, Jason Nolan, and Yukari Seko

  15. 11. Power Struggles: Knowledge Production in a DIY News Club

    Jennifer Jenson, Negin Dahya, and Stephanie Fisher

  16. 12. Transparency Reconsidered: Creative, Critical, and Connected Making with E-textiles

    Yasmin B. Kafai and Kylie A. Peppler

  17. 13. Woven Futures: Inscribed Material Ecologies of Critical Making

    Daniela K. Rosner and Miki Foster

  18. 14. Making Publics: Documentary as Do-It-with-Others Citizenship

    Mandy Rose

  19. 15. Mirror Images: Avatar Aesthetics and Self-Representation in Digital Games

    Suzanne de Castell

  20. III. DIY and Design: Opening the Black Box and Repurposing Technologies
  21. 16. Textual Doppelgangers: Critical Issues in the Study of Technology

    Matt Ratto

  22. 17. The Growbot Garden Project as DIY Speculation through Design

    Carl DiSalvo

  23. 18. Doing It in the Cloud: Google, Apple, and the Shaping of DIY Culture

    Michael Murphy, David J. Phillips, and Karen Pollock

  24. 19. Citizen Innovation: ActiveEnergy and the Quest for Sustainable Design

    Ann Light

  25. 20. Le Champ des Possibles—The Field of Possibilities

    Owen McSwiney and Emily Rose Michaud

  26. 21. Distributed Design: Media Technologies and the Architecture of Participation

    Joel McKim

  27. 22. “I hate your politics but I love your diamonds”: Citizenship and the Off-Topic Message Board Subforum

    Lana Swartz and Kevin Driscoll

  28. IV. DIY and Media: Redistributing Authority and Sources in News Media
  29. 23. Redesigning the Vox Pop: Civic Rituals as Sites of Critical Reimagining

    Joshua McVeigh-Schultz

  30. 24. Alternative Media Production, Feminism, and Citizenship Practices

    Rosa Reitsamer and Elke Zobl

  31. 25. Alternative Media, the Mundane, and “Everyday Citizenship”

    Chris Atton

  32. 26. Critical News Making and the Paradox of “Do-It-Yourself News”

    Mike Ananny

  33. 27. Social Media, Visibility, and Activism: The Kony 2012 Campaign

    Graham Meikle

  34. 28. A Digital Democracy or Twenty-First-Century Tyranny? CNN’s iReport and the Future of Citizenship in Virtual Spaces

    Devan Bissonette

  35. Contributors
  36. Index