In recent years, conflicts over values and practices have emerged in hacking and free/libre and open source (FLOSS) communities, centering around diversity and inclusion. This talk features ethnographic research on feminist hacking and “diversity” efforts in mainstream hacking and FLOSS. It explores how participants work through thorny issues of inclusion in their practices with code, hardware, and one another. It illustrates how there is more at stake in “hacking diversity” than a politics of representation can capture and argues that how diversity advocates bound their interventions matters for hacking communities, for “tech” more broadly, and for critical analysis of technology-oriented cultures.
Christina Dunbar-Hester is associate professor of communication in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Low Power to the People: Pirates, Protest, and Politics in FM Radio Activism.