Mediation and boundary marking: A case study of making literacies across a makerspace

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This paper draws on data from a year-long participatory ethnographic case study of a makerspace to argue for and articulate a methodology to account for dynamic boundary marking practices: what counts as “making,” what counts as “literacy,” who counts as “maker,” who counts as “literate.” Specifically, the author argues that in order to understand making and maker literacies, we have to understand boundary marks, because how we mark boundaries shapes what and who come to matter (both in a material and in a semiotic sense), which in turn shapes what and who get made, by whom, and for whom. Key to this methodology is a refiguring of mediation that draws on feminist and decolonial approaches to knowledge making and communication that emphasize the ongoing marking of boundaries of media, literacies, and bodies. To illustrate this methodology, the author traces becomings, un-becomings, and re-becomings of makers, literacies, tools, and relations across a makerspace. The author concludes by offering implications for further developing and adapting the methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100290
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Decolonial methodology
  • Feminist methodology
  • Maker literacies
  • Maker movement
  • Makerspace
  • Mediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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