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Repair Work Ethnographies

Revisiting Breakdown, Relocating Materiality

Editors: Strebel, Ignaz, Bovet, Alain, Sormani, Philippe (Eds.)

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  • Provides a unique collection of ethnographies offering empirical insight into the locally unfolding work of repair, in and across multiple situations of technology use and material practice
  • Addresses repair work as a multifaceted phenomenon unfolding sequentially before, during and after failure, wear, deterioration, weakening etc. for a qualified and diversified readership in anthropology, sociology, and STS scholarship
  • Makes a critical contribution to relocating materiality, recasting the recent, largely conceptual debates in anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies (STS) around notions of “materiality”, “socio-materiality”, or “non-human agency” in terms of the situated intelligibility of unfolding courses of repair work
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eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2110-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2109-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This pioneering book homes in on repair as an everyday practice. Bringing together exemplary ethnographies of repair work around the world, it examines the politics of repair, its work settings and intricate networks, in and across a wide range of situations, lay and professional. The book evidences the topical relevance of situated inquiry into breakdown, repair, and maintenance for engaging with the contemporary world more broadly. Airplanes and artworks, bicycles and buildings, cars and computers, medical devices and mobile phones, as virtually any commodity, infrastructure or technical artifact, have in common their occasional breakdown, if not inbuilt obsolescence. Hence the point and purpose of closely examining how and when they are fixed.

About the authors

Ignaz Strebel is an urban geographer and senior scientist at the University of Lausanne. His research is on the social and material practices that make up and transform urban systems. Using ethnography and audio-visual projects, he currently researches building care work, energy infrastructure services and the transformation capacities of prefabricated buildings. 
Alain Bovet is a professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HEG-Arc, HES-SO) and a senior scientist at the University of Lausanne. Interested in various communication processes, from everyday interaction to public controversies, he is currently engaged in a video analysis of the work of caretakers and technicians in urban housing.
Philippe Sormani is a sociologist working at the intersection of ethnography, ethnomethodology, and science and technology studies, focusing on material disruption and its heuristic implications. Currently, he is affiliated at the Institut Marcel Mauss, EHESS, in Paris and board member of the STS lab at the University of Lausanne.

Reviews

“The book’s excellent organization, form an ongoing conversation as they make the familiar strange by collectively approaching order from the standpoint of breakdown and repair. Summing Up: Recommended. Advanced undergraduates and above.” (A. Shiva, Choice, Vol. 56 (12), August, 2019)

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)
  • Introduction: When Things Break Down

    Pages 1-27

    Sormani, Philippe (et al.)

  • Repair Work as Inquiry and Improvisation: The Curious Case of Medical Practice

    Pages 31-60

    Schubert, Cornelius

  • ‘A Good Enough Fix’: Repair and Maintenance in Librarians’ Digitization Practice

    Pages 61-87

    Fürst, Moritz F.

  • Job Done: What Repair Does to Caretakers, Tenants and Their Flats

    Pages 89-125

    Bovet, Alain (et al.)

  • Mobile Phone Repair Knowledge in Downtown Kampala: Local and Trans-Local Circulations

    Pages 129-160

    Houston, Lara

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2110-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-981-13-2109-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Repair Work Ethnographies
Book Subtitle
Revisiting Breakdown, Relocating Materiality
Editors
  • Ignaz Strebel
  • Alain Bovet
  • Philippe Sormani
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-13-2110-8
DOI
10.1007/978-981-13-2110-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-13-2109-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXI, 351
Number of Illustrations
9 b/w illustrations, 37 illustrations in colour
Topics