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.
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.