K-State assistant professor: Computer hackers have value in society
Roy Wenzl reports:
Kevin Steinmetz, a criminologist at Kansas State University, has studied and met a lot of hackers and he sees value in them. Hacker culture is far more diverse, more interesting, more valuable and more sophisticated than most of us realize, he said.[…]
His latest work, “An Ethnographic Study of Hacking,” has been published in the British Journal of Criminology, according to a statement from Kansas State University. In his work, he defines what a hacker is (and is not) and what it means to “hack.”
Read more on The Witchita Eagle.
Here’s the Abstract of Steinmetz’s article, “Craft(y)ness: An Ethnographic Study of Hacking:”
The idea of the ‘hacker’ is a contested concept both inside and outside the hacker community, including academia. Addressing such contestation the current study uses ethnographic field research and content analysis to create a grounded understanding of ‘the hacker’. In doing so, hacking is revealed to parallel features found in craftwork, often sharing (1) a particular mentality, (2) an emphasis on skill, (3) a sense of ownership over tools and objects of labour, (4) guild-like social and learning structures, (5) a deep sense of commitment, (6) an emphasis on process over result, (7) a common phenomenological experience, and (8) tendencies towards transgression. The final result is that hacking is identified as a kind of transgressive craft or craft(y).