This analysis of Make, a US parenting magazine, focuses on how the periodical attempts to democratize science and technology through do-it-yourself (DIY) politics by rendering it a problem of child-rearing. Positioning the magazine within a broader context of contemporary interest in making and DIY practices, I argue that Make magazine deploys constructions of creative children to naturalize risk-taking as integral to future innovations, as a response to tensions between risks and responsibility underlying DIY modes of science and technology. Make magazine’s content performs what I define as the workshop-function, which distributes protocols through mass media for inaugurating spaces of scientific work outside of professional laboratories run by amateur scientific and technologic subjects. Make magazine highlights how DIY science and making intersects the politics of social reproduction, since the creation of amateur workshops and their operation become integral functions of the home, tying citizenship and political legitimacy to domestic labor in support of scientific and technological innovation.
Make Magazine and the Social Reproduction of DIY Science and Technology
Josef Nguyen is an assistant professor of game studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research engages science and technology studies and media studies, focusing on the politics of play, toys, and games. His current work investigates contemporary debates regarding creativity, children, and digital media.