Afterlives of the Californian Ideology| Afterlives of the Californian Ideology: Tech Movements, Pioneer Communities, and Imaginaries of Digital Futures—Introduction

Andreas Hepp, Anne Schmitz, Nathan Schneider


The Californian Ideology has been a buzzword for criticizing the tech industry in Silicon Valley for almost 30 years. But how exactly is this term to be understood? What is its historical context, and how does the Californian Ideology live on today? This introduction to the thematic issue approaches these questions by first reconstructing the genesis of Barbrook and Cameron’s article, “The Californian Ideology,” and the original discussion surrounding it. It then takes a closer look at the role of tech movements and pioneer communities: Both were not only an important context for the emergence of Californian Ideology but are also closely linked to its global spread. Finally, based on these clarifications, this introduction provides an overview of the articles in the thematic issue, focusing on their contribution to a discussion of ideological moments and subsequent imaginaries of possible digital futures.


Californian Ideology, tech movement, pioneer community, Silicon Valley, sociomaterial imaginary, possible futures

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