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Making Is Connecting Hardcover – 1 Apr 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (1 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745650015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745650012
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.7 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

David Gauntlett is Professor of Media and Communications at University of Westminster, UK, and author of several books including Creative Explorations.

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

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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