Hacktivism, Interrupted: Moving Beyond the “Hacker Ethic” to Find Feminist Hacktivism

By Jessi Ring.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 14, 2015 $US5.00

Mainstream representations of hacktivism often rely upon a particular hacker archetype that renders hacktivism as synonymous with the hacker group Anonymous. I refer to this hacker archetype as the Anonymous model, which classifies hacktivism as a privileged, white cis-male technoliberal practice. This model of hacktivism also assumes that hacktivist activities are premised upon the “Hacker Ethic.” However, this cultural image is too simplistic and fails to consider the contradictions and tensions that are constantly at play within hacktivist communities, which complicate everyday hacktivist practices. I conceptualize hacking and hacktivism as a process, and as a way of engaging with systems—not just technological, but also sociological, political, and economic. In this article, I expand upon another notion of hacktivism that is premised on feminist ideals and practices. My conceptualization of feminist hacktivism includes atypical practices, such as crafting, tinkering, and do-it-together maker activities.

Keywords: Hacktivism, Ethics, Feminism

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 14, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.37-54. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 14, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 512.688KB)).

Jessi Ring

PhD Student, Communication Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada