Controlling Labor in Makeathons: On the Recuperation of Emancipation in Industrial Labor Processes

  • Klara-Aylin WentenEmail author


This paper discusses the recuperation of emancipatory principles of the maker culture in the context of labor organization. By examining an event for prototyping (the ‘makeathon’), the paper illustrates how emancipatory demands were co-opted in capitalist innovation processes. Makeathons represent the recuperation of emancipation as they provide testing fields for organizing innovation labor differently. They are connected to the maker culture that calls for autonomous physical labor, collaborative communities and personal authority over technological knowledge. Yet, industrial companies have started to adopt such events for changing current innovation processes. The paper argues that the recuperation is mediated by the introduction of organizational control, collective control and self-control. The makeathon can be interpreted as an instance for the manufacturing of consent that might entail new and often conflicting work requirements.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Munich Center for Technology in SocietyTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

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