Héctor Beltrán F'17
Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2017
University of California, Berkeley
Disenchanted Hacking: Technology, Startups, and Alternative Capitalisms from Mexico
While Mexican citizens organize to protest pressing social problems—violence, impunity, and corruption—young entrepreneurs work feverishly within co-working spaces to develop technology startup ideas aimed at solving these same systemic issues. This dissertation uses ethnographic methods to highlight the complex ways individuals navigate domains that seem contradictory: a hacker world aimed against capitalism, and an entrepreneurial world that advances capitalist practices. How do people living under precarious conditions create different protocols for technology-driven capitalism? These nuances become particularly important as scholars take seriously alternative capitalisms from the Global South and refocus their studies of the economy on the small-scale models individuals use to project their livelihoods into the future.