Maker Meaning: An Exploration of the Maker Movement, Career Adaptability, and Life Satisfaction
Farmer, Nicole Marie
University of Kansas
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Throughout history work has provided meaning for people by defining the role of each individual in relation to the greater society. The new normal is not a career that will last a lifetime but instead a career path through a series of transitions. This study sought out to explore how the Maker Movement might be important to career development in this new climate of unpredictability specifically with regard to career adaptability, engagement, and life satisfaction. Given the lack of information about the characteristics and motivations of those participating in the Maker Movement, descriptive data was also gathered. Participants included 182 individuals, over the age of 18, who have participated in the Maker Movement. Participants took online assessments that included a demographic form, the Career Adapt-abilities Scale - USA, the Occupational Engagement Scale for Employed Adults – Revised, and the Making as Meaning Inventory. Consistent with prior research, it was found that Makers tend to be White, to hold a college degree, to be employed, and to have a mean personal income of roughly $54,000. This study found that women are participating in the Maker Movement at equal rates as men, contrary to previous findings. Additionally, Makers are more likely to engage with a Maker Faire or online, than at a Makerspace. No relationship was found between Maker participation and career adaptability or occupational engagement. However, meaning from Making was associated with higher life satisfaction. This research revealed meaning from Making as an important aspect of life, and is echoed by Makers, “Making is a way to make life meaningful.”
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