New research on worker coop industry culture in the 70s-90s


Jess Baines (ex Calverts) has just published her thesis ‘Democratising Print?’ on the radical, community and coop print collectives of the 70s, 80s, 90s (mainly in London). It’s a massive read but if you manage her intro and conclusions you’ll get the gist. Why is this relevant? Despite the massive differences of context, it goes into how people created a culture and practice in the ‘communication tech’ industry of the time, confronting questions of power, democracy, work, skill and ‘good’. There is a lot we can learn I think. Download at


Ta Sion. Looks fascinating.


Thanks for that Sion. As another veteran of that era (ex-Union Place) I found it a very interesting source of reflection. Something I noticed a while ago is that much of the innovative culture associated with web culture was also present in those print co-op days. I would also add that although Silicon Valley came to be dominated by Venture Capitalists in the early days it was co-operative initiatives like the Home Brew Computer Club that got things going. John Markoff’s What the Dormouse Said is good on this.


Thanks for reviving this thread @Leutha - I read the paper when Sion first
posted it and found it fascincating, but then got terribly confused by all
the communications channelses and couldn’t work out where to post a