DIYization: The Word I Was Looking For

In a recent post I wondered what’s a good word to describe the next step in economic progress after specialization — when making/doing X is done by the general public (not as a job) instead of just by paid specialists (as a job).  For example, the introduction of cheap cameras allowed the general public, not just professional photographers, to take pictures. Personal science is an example of such a shift, of course. Thank you for your many suggestions, such as laitization, deguilding, promethization, and several more. The combination of Keimpe Wiersma’s suggestion (DIY) and wobbly’s suggestion (deguilding) led me to DIYing and DIYization.

DIYing, I learned, is an existing word with a different meaning (to do DIY). Although ordinary DIY (Home Depot) is associated with men, women appear to use DIYing far more than men and they use it to describe traditionally feminine activities (see this). For example, there is a blog DIYing To Be Domestic by a woman. This is irrelevant to whether I use it — it’s just interesting.

DIYization is much rarer. It appears in a 2005 essay called “Scandinavian Dreams: DIY, Democratisation and IKEA” where it refers not to a change in an activity but to a change in society — toward more DIY. IKEA, says the essayist, is an example of “the DIYization of society.”

DIYing is shorter. DIYization is more self-explanatory, less likely to be confused with dying, and makes clearer the connection with specialization. Not to mention it is more pompous — more Veblenesque. In the last chapter of The Theory of The Leisure Class, Veblen used long rare words to say that academics show off their uselessness using by using long rare words.

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