Hacking and power: Social and technological determinism in the digital age

Tim Jordan


This article outlines the nature of hacking and then draws implications from this for understandings of technology and society in the digital age. Hacking is analysed as having a material practice related to computers and networks taken up by two core groups: crackers who break into other people's computers and network and the Free Software and Open Source who produce software based on an understanding of property as distribution. Hacking works constantly to develop determinations between technology and society in both directions. This conclusion is then theorised in relation to Hutchby's concept of affordances and is compared to classic accounts of technological determinism. Accounts of technology and society in the digital age need to consider both technological and social determinations, that such determinations are particularly fluid in relation to programming and that understanding power and politics in relation technology needs a concept of technological and determination.


Hacking; cracking; technological determinism; co-production; affordance

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v14i7.2417

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