Hacking in the university: contesting the valorisation of academic labour

Winn, Joss (2013) Hacking in the university: contesting the valorisation of academic labour. Triple C : Communication, Capitalism and Critique, 11 (2). pp. 486-503. ISSN 1726-670X

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Hacking in the university: contesting the valorisation of academic labour
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In this article I argue for a different way of understanding the emergence of hacker culture. In doing so, I outline an account of ‘the university’ as an institution that provided the material and subsequent intellectual conditions that early hackers were drawn to and in which they worked. I argue that hacking was originally a form of academic labour that emerged out of the intensification and valorisation of scientific research within the institutional context of the university. The reproduction of hacking as a form of academic labour took place over many decades as academics and their institutions shifted from an ideal of unproductive, communal science to a more productive, entrepreneurial approach to the production of knowledge. As such, I view hacking as a peculiar, historically situated form of labour that arose out of the contradictions of the academy: vocation vs. profession; teaching vs. research; basic vs. applied research; research vs. development; private vs. public; war vs. peace; institutional autonomy vs. state dependence; scientific communalism vs. intellectual property.

Additional Information:tripleC : Communication, Capitalism and Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society
Keywords:hacking, hackers, academic labour, valorisation, history of science, Marxism, historical-materialism
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V380 History of Science
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:12514
Deposited On:07 Nov 2013 11:33

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