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Book Sections Year : 2019

Why do maintenance and repair matter?

Jérôme Denis
David Pontille


Maintenance and repair have been of growing interest in various areas of research, and more and more scholars have brought to light an incredible variety of hitherto neglected objects and practices. In the last years, studies have documented maintenance and repair activities in ICTs (Cállen & Sánchez Criado, 2015; Houston & Jackson, 2016; Jackson, Pompe & Krieshok, 2012; Rosner & Ames, 2014), Arts (Domínguez Rubio, 2016), large infrastructures (Barnes, 2017; Ureta, 2014), software and information systems (Cohn, 2016; Fidler and Russel, 2018), urban settings (Denis & Pontille, 2014, 2018; Strebel, 2011), legacy buildings and heritage sites (Edensor, 2011; Jones & Yarrow, 2013), domestic consumption (Gregson, Metcalfe & Crewe, 2009; Rosner, 2013) and even corpse preservation (Yurchak, 2015). In this chapter, the authors propose to give hints on these emerging maintenance and repair studies by articulating, beyond their variety, two of their main contributions. First, the chapter shows that maintenance and repair studies help reconsider an old legacy of ANT, namely the opposition between breakdown (crisis, controversy) and routine (taken-for-grantedness). Second, the authors suggest that these studies renew the way matter (or ‘materiality’) is generally treated in ANT accounts, namely as ‘that which resists.



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Dates and versions

hal-02172939 , version 1 (04-07-2019)
hal-02172939 , version 2 (30-08-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02172939 , version 2


Jérôme Denis, David Pontille. Why do maintenance and repair matter?. Anders Blok, Ignacio Farías & Celia Roberts. The Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory, , p. 283-293, 2019, 978-1-138-08472-8. ⟨hal-02172939v2⟩
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