added 4 research items
Repair has visibly come to the fore in recent academic and policy debates, to the point that ‘repair studies’ is now emerging as a novel focus of research. Through the lens of repair, scholars with diverse backgrounds are coming together to rethink our relationships with the human-made matters, tools and objects that are the material mesh in which organisational life takes place as a political question. This special issue is interested to map the ways that repair can contribute to organisational models alternative to those centered around growth. In order to explore the politics of repair in the context of organization studies, the papers gathered here investigate issues such as: repair as a specific kind of care and socially reproductive labour; repair as a direct intervention into the cornerstones of capitalist economy, such as exchange versus use value, division of work and property relations; repair of infrastructures and their relation with the broader environment; and finally repair as the reflective practice of fixing the organizational systems and institutional habits in which we dwell. What emerges from the diversity of experiences surveyed in this issue is that repair manifests itself as both a regime of practice and counter-conduct that demand an active and persistent engagement of practitioners with the systemic contradictions and power struggles shaping our material world.
This short article offers a perspective on the social organization of repair and re-use of public infrastructures in the UK today by focusing on an former public library now transferred to a social enterprise which also hosts a repair centre for the processing of used household goods.
In this paper, we look at repair as an emergent focus of recent activism in affluent societies, where a number of groups are reclaiming practices of repair as a form of political and ecological action. Ranging from those that fight for legislative change to those groups who are trying to support ecological and social change through everyday life practices, repair is beginning to surface tensions in everyday life and as such poses opportunities for its transformation. We survey a few of the practices that make up this movement in its various articulations, to take stock of their current political import. While we suggest that these practices can be seen as an emergent lifestyle movement, they should not be seen as presenting a unified statement. Rather, we aim to show that they articulate a spectrum of political positions, particularly in relation to the three specific issues of property, pedagogy and sociality. These three dimensions are all facets of current internal discrepancies of repair practices and moreover express potential bifurcations as this movement evolves. Drawing on a diverse methodology that includes discourse analysis and participant observation, we suggest some of the ways in which this growing area of activity could play a significant role in resisting the commodification of the everyday and inventing postwork alternatives.