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  1. Sep 2017
    1. Accounts of hacker cultures often highlight bug fixes (Coleman, 2011; Nafus, 2012), portraying failures as integral to the inventive, creative process of design and engineering (Petroski, 2006). Mothership HackerMoms began to address failure differently from these productivist tendencies. In addition to viewing failure as central to achievement, members identified personal failures and failures to transform hacker cultures, formulating failure as a moment for reflection. To make this argument, we examine two empirical contexts of failure: first, failure as members conceptualize it in the Failure Club project of narrativizing the self; and, second, failure as expressed from the outside through online “hate mail.” By tracing how members redefine failure we show how HackerMoms became a site of resistance: hacking the very ontology of hacking.

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