A morphological exploration into gender inclusiveness and environmental attitudes concerning Maker practices in Makerspaces in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria

Loose, Elisabeth (2020) A morphological exploration into gender inclusiveness and environmental attitudes concerning Maker practices in Makerspaces in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation explores the connection between amateur technology making, gender inclusiveness and environmental protection within the Maker movement. Specifically, it asks whether including more women into Makerspaces in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria would increase positive environmental impacts of Making practices in those spaces or, vice-versa, if increasing these spaces’ positive environmental impact would attract more women to join in. To answer this question, a social constructivist position is adopted. Through a convergent multi-level mixed method design that employs short interviews at Maker Faires, an online survey, and in-depth interviews, 565 Makers in the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria have been consulted. The study examines its question through three steps: firstly, it devises a Making morphology which is necessary in order to differentiate between a variety of Making constellations; secondly, it examines if and how women are excluded from Makerspaces within a specifically devised Makerspace morphology for the UK, Germany and Austria; and thirdly, it explores women’s and men’s environmental considerations within their Making practice. The study concludes that, although women exhibit more environmentally friendly behaviour, they face increased challenges in joining Makerspace communities and ‘just adding them’ might not be enough to achieve sustainable inclusiveness. A masculine and patriarchal culture within Making communities is visible in the developed morphology, which often hinders women from simply joining in. The study, therefore, develops a women-inclusive morphology for Makerspaces which is more inclusive and environmentally friendly. It concludes that even though there is the potential for increased gender-diversity sparking more pro-environmental practices, and vice-versa, gender-inclusion especially appears to be a rather complex challenge that makes a straightforward answer to the question problematic. Equally, individual communities are too complex to make broad, deterministic claims. Finally, recommendations for further research and attributes of Makerspace communities to create more inclusive and environmentally sustainable communities are presented.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Making, Maker Movement, Maker culture, gender, environmental sustainability, morphology, Freeden, Makerspace.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Supervisor's Name: Johnston, Prof Sean and Franks, Dr Benjamin and Stokes, Prof Ray
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Elisabeth Loose
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81629
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2020 14:50
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2020 16:02
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81629

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