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Journal Articles New Media & Society Year : 2013

Determining social change: The role of technological determinism in the collective action framing of hackers

Abstract

This article takes the political engagement of hackers as a prism for examining the relations between technological determinist thinking and collective action. The concept ‘collective action framing’ is borrowed from social movement theory to describe how hackers have appropriated notions of a post-industrial, information society in their struggles against intellectual property laws and state censorship. Hackers have reintroduced an element of conflict and antagonism into otherwise politically innocuous visions of post-industrialism. This residual of antagonism can be traced back to the roots of the post-industrial myth in Marxist, historical materialist theory. By exploring these origins, the article proceeds to compare the hopes invested by hackers in the emancipatory force of information technology with the earlier beliefs of labour movements that the forces of history were on their side. Building on this comparison it is argued that technological determinism does not always lead to political resignation, but can also serve as a foundation for collective action.
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Dates and versions

hal-00871035 , version 1 (08-10-2013)

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Johan Söderberg. Determining social change: The role of technological determinism in the collective action framing of hackers. New Media & Society, 2013, 15 (8), pp.1277-1293. ⟨10.1177/1461444812470093⟩. ⟨hal-00871035⟩
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