(Randy Shaw is the editor of BeyondChron and author of The Activist’s Handbook, Second Edition. This post first appeared November 14 on BeyondChron and is republished with permission.)
Last week’s Twitter IPO triggered stories about “tech culture’s” impact on San Francisco and the broader society. It made me ask: is there really a culture of tech outside the workplace and, if so, what is it? More importantly, does labeling popular activities among young workers as “tech culture” create divisions among people who otherwise could be working together to solve social problems? Many (including myself) have identified the term with a libertarian political philosophy, hostility to unions and overwhelming white and Asian-American workers under-40 without kids. It is also identified with the rise of artisan coffees and foods, wine bars, upscale restaurants and the now legendary $4 toast that led the Courage Campaign to launch a petition to Mayor Lee regarding the city’s rising costs.