Collective Recursive Identity (Hackathons)

Nathanael Bassett, “The Conscientious Hacker: An ethnography of identity and community among hackathons” (MA Thesis, The New School, 2013)


This thesis examines hackathons and their outcomes for participants and organizers. These events exemplify issues in collective identity and the recursive relationships between individual and collective concerns. Hackathons in the public interest are best understood as collaborative venues which engender both technological output and personal benefit to organizers and participants. Negotiating the tensions between the agendas of participants and organizers leads to a reevaluation of collective identity in these groups. Conceptualizing these events as “weak collectives” reflects the individual autonomy of participants and how personal agency determines participation versus representation within the group.

Nathanael Bassett. “The Private and the Public: Identity and Politics in Virtual Space” Conference Proceeding, Media In Transition 8, May 5, 2013.

Nathanael Bassett. “Recursive identities in sociopolitical movements – a case study of hackathons” Conference Proceeding, Critical Themes in Media Studies, April 6, 2013 (written with Danny Kim) (Conference Slides)

For more, find my posts on Hackathons.

For the thesis work, I have copious notes (61 different lengthy notes in Evernote) so I can’t really share everything I’m working on here – but some things I’m following and worth taking note of:

One thought on “Collective Recursive Identity (Hackathons)

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