FLOSS developers as a social formation

Frauke Lehmann, who will give a presentation at my cyberanthropology workshop, has put her M.A.-thesis (Lehmann 2004a) online under a CC-licence. The thesis is called Entwickler Freier Software als soziale Formation [in German | .pdf | 873KB] and an English-language derivate of it (Lehmann 2004b) has been published at First Monday: FLOSS developers as a social formation. Here’s the abstract:

Developers of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) are often referred to as a community or as a scene. But so far this seems mostly just a rough expression. This paper takes a closer look at FLOSS developers and their projects to find out how they work, what holds them together and how they interact. Community and social movement seem not to apply as descriptors. Looking at norms, values, structures, and conflict resolution, a hacker subculture appears which is compartmentalised into differently organised projects. By testing empirical findings against various theoretical approaches, ideas for further research are identified.