And thus arose the day where I end my association with the University of Copenhagen after almost 7 years to the day.
I defended my thesis this morning with some success, with fun props and pictures to explain my theoretical perspective. And I passed comfortably, though not without being told that there was a distinct lack of methodological discussion, only barely an academic argument, and that it lacked a proper critical approach to the theories I used. Indeed, I was told that I didn’t “unfold” my material properly as there were too many theories in play – several of which which were contrary to one another.
All valid criticism, I suppose. In the end, I’m quite happy with the decisions I made, since I emphasized not making only making the field interesting for anthropologists to read about, but also to make it readable and interesting for other people who might be interested in the social dynamics of a free software community. I could have added more reflection on my methods, or focused even more on the analytical crisis cases – but as I already had reached the maximum length allowed for the thesis, I could only have done so by cutting something else.
I’d rather describe the many aspects of the Ubuntu community as they are, rather than focus on crisis cases and dilemmas which are so rare and much less typical of the community as a whole. I’ll digest these comments, clarify a few elements in the thesis and rewrite the conclusion – and ever so soon, I’ll put the “director’s cut” of the thesis up here for all to see.
But for now: Celebration!