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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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"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!"
"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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David Gauntlett argues that we are moving away from a culture of passive entertainment, and towards a more active, creative and socially engaging culture. He focuses in particular on current craft and web-based movements, and parallels between the two. While it seems, perhaps, a little too optimistic at times, it makes a change to read something that reflects upon and actively encourages popular, ground-level creativity. Well written and engaging, it covers a surprisingly wide range of topics (from architecture and web 2.0 to happiness). Above all, it feels extremely resonant right now, (I'm not sure how interesting it will seem by 2015), so read it sooner rather than later!
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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