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Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of Creativity, from DIY and Knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 Paperback – 4 Mar 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (4 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745650023
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745650029
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

David Gauntlett is Professor of Media and Communications at the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), University of Westminster. CAMRI is officially ranked as the leading centre of media and communications research in the UK (RAE 2008).

He is the author of several books on media and identities, and the everyday creative use of digital media. These include Moving Experiences (1995, second edition 2005), Video Critical (1997), TV Living (with Annette Hill, 1999), Media, Gender and Identity (2002, second edition 2008), and Creative Explorations: New approaches to identities and audiences (2007), which was shortlisted for Young Academic Author of the Year in the 2007 Times Higher Awards. He also edited two editions of the book Web Studies (2000, 2004).

His new book is Making is Connecting: The social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web 2.0 (2011).

He produces the popular website about media and identities, Theory.org.uk, and has pioneered the use of creative and visual research methods, for which he has created the hub at ArtLab.org.uk.

He has conducted collaborative research with a number of the world's leading creative organisations, including the BBC, Lego, and Tate.

Product Description

Review

"Gauntlett offers a terrific account of how creativity, craft, and community intersect in the 21st century."
Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody


"Essential reading for media educators. Gauntlett takes us beyond instrumental notions of assessing creative practice or teaching with new media into a more far-reaching and political view of how human beings are finding new ways of making their mark on the world, contributing to culture and 'doing it for ourselves'. In a period where 'experts' are bombarding us with moral panics about 'screen addiction' and 'toxic childhood', usually without any research evidence or attention to the fields of existing literature, Making is Connecting redresses the balance and gives voice to the creative communities, on and offline, too often spoken about from positions of ignorance and suspicion."
Media Education Research Journal


"A very accessible and sound argument centered on creating and sharing as the cornerstones to individual happiness and healthy community in a society saturated with messages imploring and coercing us to do the exact opposite. Academic but accessible, fun with serious supportive argumentation, full of life and exploding with optimism, I'm certain David Gauntlett's Making is Connecting will inspire in you the fire to make, connect, and do!"
Art Threat

"In a beautifully crafted book, [Gauntlett] explains how making things connects us to our world and to each other...Perhaps more academics should be 'craftivists'."
Alison Adam, Salford University
Times Higher Education
, "What Are You Reading?"


"Accessible, well constructed, bold and controversial."
Julian McDougall, Newman University College
Times Higher Education, "What Are You Reading?"


"Making is Connecting is an inspired call to recognize the relationship between encouraging creativity and fostering an engaged citizenry. If you want to understand how emerging practices in digital participatory cultures can lead to positive transformations in our individual lives and in our societies, you need to read this book."
Lynn Schofield Clark, University of Denver

"Making is Connecting is a remarkably clear, convincing and engaging work. Perhaps the best thing about this book is the way in which Gauntlett draws together the existing literature in this field of creativity and community (particularly online). The book makes sense of Leadbeater, Anderson, Lanier, Shirky and others and shines a light on their strengths and weaknesses in a lucid and convincing fashion."
Andrew Dubber, Birmingham City University

From the Back Cover

In Making is Connecting , David Gauntlett argues that, through making things, people engage with the world and create connections with each other. Both online and offline, we see that people want to make their mark on the world, and to make connections. During the previous century, the production of culture became dominated by professional elite producers. But today, a vast array of people are making and sharing their own ideas, videos and other creative material online, as well as engaging in real–world crafts, art projects and hands–on experiences. Gauntlett argues that we are seeing a shift from a ‘sit–back–and–be–told culture′ to a ‘making–and–doing culture′. People are rejecting traditional teaching and television, and making their own learning and entertainment instead. Drawing on evidence from psychology, politics, philosophy and economics, he shows how this shift is necessary and essential for the happiness and survival of modern societies.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth S. Wells VINE VOICE on 26 April 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an exciting book on an interesting and relevant subject, belied, I think, by a dull title, "Making is connecting". But what could David Gauntlett do with the wide subject he was trying to cover?

The compass of this book is vast, so I homed in on something I know, namely, "knitting", intrigued that this even has a mention, however, its inclusion is clarified by a quote from Joanne Turney in her book, "The Culture of Knitting".

Joanne says that knitting "offers a means of creativity, of confidence in one's own ability to "do", as well as occupying a space in which one can just "be".

This is amplified by the comment on the back of the book, that, "Gauntlett offers a terrific account of how creativity, craft and community intersect in the 21st Century" - [Clay Shirky, author of "Here Comes Everybody"].

Not surprisingly, in the sweep of David Gauntlett's vision of present trends, a parallel is drawn to William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. He demonstrates how the contemporary interest in DIY and the "handmade", can be viewed as a resurgence of the arts and crafts ethos in this present century.

As already a part of the "make do and mend" generation - my mother was born 1903, and I was born just after the WWII - I don't know how much I am part of this revolution of independence from reliance on the world of consumerism - but I do know I am in sympathy with it.

Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting (Craft: Projects)William Morris: A Life for Our Time
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Old Grey Witch's Test VINE VOICE on 30 May 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As the author states "This book is built on a broad general understanding that people are happier, more engaged in the world, and more likely to develop and learn, when they are doing or making things for themselves, rather than having things done and made for them" The book is a clarion call for creativity, for craftsmanship and social connection. 'Making is connecting' is its key phase.
That being said, the book is a delight to read. David Gauntlett's style is highly accessible, yet very thorough. Each new concept is defined carefully, everyday examples are given, and plenty of opportunity is given for extra research. It should be included in every booklist for students of communications, media studies, sociology, general studies, and modern politics. Teachers will also be delighted to use it as a 'dip-in' resource book. If this isn't enough, more information is actually provided on a web site.
I finished the book wanting to sign-up for David Gauntlett's courses. My only quibble is that his argument would have been better served if he had used Twitter rather than Facebook as an example of an online interactive service. Maybe next time...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phill Lister VINE VOICE on 28 April 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book explores "the social meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to YouTube and Web2.0".

In fact it begins before DIY (but after knitting) with insights about "craft" from Victorian thinkers John Ruskin and William Morris. They were critics of the new industrialization and what it did to the world of making, of manufacture. And more specifically, what it did to those workers caught up in the industrial process which denied any individual creativity to the worker who was there to aid the machines in making predesigned product.

The author extends this discussion to emphasize the importance and value of "making" in everyday life, and how new technologies are taking the making and distribution of creative work out of the hands solely of professionals. And the various ways in which this is a good thing.

Throughout the discussion Gauntlett leads the reader through some very stimulating and critical arguments, ideas and research from a wide range of sources including his own. The discussion is always balanced, weighing counter-arguments throughout. It is very clearly presented, with plenty of signposting to help the reader follow the argument making this an easy and involving read.

I now feel like I've had a bit of a crash-course in cutting-edge Media and Communications Studies. Has made me think about my life in a different way.

Highly recommended, even to www skeptics!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The basic premiss of this book is that people are happier and more involved and engaged with the people around them and generally across the world, and thus more likely to grow, evolve, develop and progress when creating, doing or making things for themselves, as opposed to than having everything served to them or made for them. It is an interesting and relatively novel concept, easy to read and follow, with a writing style and prose that is both easy and enjoyable. The layout is nicely laid out, with a logical structure and format, explaining/defining each new concept and littering with common and sensible examples. The authour goes further and puts this into perspective of the electronic age that we live in and the challenges and rewards herein.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Jennings on 29 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this to use in my dissertation but it is also a really good book as well. Very interesting book absolutely enjoyed reading it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jess on 10 Dec 2011
Format: Paperback
This book made the connection for me between my politics and my interest in craft and making things. Gauntlett explains the importance of making beyond our wellbeing by drawing on key critical thinkers and illustrating accessible examples. I particularly like his boldness in outlining possible futures and its ability to go beyond the critique. The usefulness of outlining possibilities that are tangible can not be underestimated.
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