Extending the notion of code

Yuwei Lin – Manchester University: ‘Embodying Hacker Culture in Women-friendly Free Software Groups’

Yuwei Lin discusses the rise of women friendly hacking networks in a male dominated free software culture. Download Yuwei Lin’s presentation slides

Female software networks

Notes written by students of Theo Vurdubakis -Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University:
Yuwei’s presentation focused on the contextualisation and embodiment of the hacker culture. The aim was to address why certain groups, namely women, are excluded from this type of technological development and to discuss and examine free software as an available source code to all for modification. Free software then is never perfect and should be seen as transparent and open which the reporting of bugs, viruses etc identifies. In contrast, however, notions of hacking and coding are not seen as open and transparent as they tend to originate from engineering cultures and are defined therefore, in the mainstream, by men. It is these cultural beliefs attached to coding and hacking which lead to a lack of visibility of women in free software.

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