Thinking with Maintenance and Repair to Account for Obduracy of Macro Orders. The Case of Informational Migration Management in Europe

Yoren Lausberg, Annalisa Pelizza


Abstract: Ongoing work and theorizing in the field of STS has made important progress in conceptualizing agency, and stressing contingency and dynamic processes in science, technology and society. However, this focus on case studies and micro dynamics has left the field ill equipped to account for obduracy and stability. We suggest a framework for understanding obduracy in STS can be found by reassessing various insights from the social sciences and STS on the processes of maintenance and repair (M&R). To illustrate our framework, we offer a concrete example in one of Europe’s crises: alterity processing or the collection of practices and infrastructures to manage Europe’s ‘migration crisis’ (Pelizza 2019). We make explicit how maintenance and repair can be used to consider the obduracy of large scale orders without losing the empirical edge that the STS offers.

Keywords: maintenance; repair; migration management; alterity processing; Europe; obduracy.

Full Text: