Offers a timely analysis of the sheer ingenuity and persistence of young people who cobble together the resources they need to pursue the lives and careers they want.
Young adults are coming of age at a time when work is temporary, underpaid, incommensurate with their education, or downright unsatisfying. Despite these challenges, media scholar S. Craig Watkins argues that this moment of precarity is rife with opportunities for innovation, and that young adults are leading the charge in turning that into an inventive and surprisingly sustainable future. As a result, society is expanding its understanding of who we think of as innovators and what qualifies as innovation, while wealth is spreading beyond traditional corridors of powerful tech companies, venture capitalism, and well-endowed universities.
Drawing on over ten years of interviews and data, Watkins reveals the radical ways in which this community of ambitious young creatives is transforming businesses from the outside in. Diverse perspectives that are often ignored or silenced by major corporations are garnering public attention as women and people of color are redefining industries across the globe—all from their computer screens.
We meet people like Prince Harvey, a New York–based hip-hop artist who recorded his album entirely on an Apple showroom laptop; screenwriter, producer, and actor Issa Rae, who first used YouTube and Kickstarter to develop the web series that became her hit HBO show Insecure; the Empowerment Plan, a nonprofit organization created by product design student Veronika Scott in Detroit; and start-up companies like Qeyno Group in San Francisco and Juegos Rancheros in Austin that help make tech more accessible to people of color.
Forward-thinking and dynamic, Don’t Knock the Hustle shows the diversity and complexity of a generation on the rise.
UNIQUE APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING MILLENNIALS that looks beyond stereotypes about their relationships with tech and labor, based on two years of MacArthur Grant–funded research.
DIVERSE AUDIENCE APPEAL that will reach millennials, educators, people seeking to hire millennials, and scholars of technology, media, and labor.
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About the Author
S. Craig Watkins studies young people’s social and digital media behaviors. He is a Professor at the University of Texas, Austin and the author of three books, including The Young and the Digital: What Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future and Hip Hop Matters: Politics, Pop Culture, and the Struggle for the Soul of a Movement. Watkins is a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Connected Learning Research Network, where he continues his research about young people and dynamic innovation ecologies. He lives in Austin, TX.
Table of Contents
Respect the Hustle: How a Young Latina’s Side Gig Disrupted American Politics
“You Don’t Need a Lot”: The Innovation Labs of Tomorrow
Bootstrapping: Inside the Quirky World of Indie Game Developers
The School of the Internet: Just-In-Time Learning in the Connected World
Hustle and Post: Hip Hop, Social Media, and Pop Music Innovation
The People’s Channel: How an Awkward Black Girl Used YouTube to Prototype the Future of Television
Can You Hear Us Now?: How Crowd Power Shatters Hollywood’s Perception of Black Audiences
STEM Girls: Expanding the Talent Pipeline in the Tech Economy
Code for Change: Who Will Build the Smart Future?
Hacking While Black: Why Design Thinking Is Good for the ’Hood
Woke: The Rise of Connected Activism
Detroit Hustles Harder: Why the Motor City Matters in the New Innovation Economy