Unveiling ambiguity: The role of maintenance and repair in infrastructural transformation processes (upcoming)

European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) 2024, ‘Doing and undoing with anthropology’, Barcelona, 23–26 July 2024

Drawing on insights from my PhD thesis on Hamburg’s gas and water infrastructure, this paper aims to highlight the inherent ambiguity of maintenance and repair practices and processes. Rooted in geography but employing a methodology that combines participant observation, interviews, and archival research, the study demonstrates the role maintenance and repair play – both presently and historically – in the context of wider (infrastructural) transformation processes. Additionally, by employing theoretical frameworks developed in contexts of the ‘Global South’ to analyse urban processes in the ‘Global North’, this input contributes to ongoing discourses within postcolonial research on the globalization of concepts and theories.

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