Public history

Rethinking the History of Repair: Repair Cultures and the "Lifespan" of Things

Stefan Krebs and Heike Weber historicise the concept of "repairing things" with a view to broadening and redefining the emphasis of current debates on repair as a "new social movement" and the emergence of a "repair society". These current discourses often lack a sense of the long history of repairing things which saw ups and downs in cultures of repair and self-repair. The chapter charts out the heterogeneity and interrelatedness of the actors involved in repair over time. It draws on examples from Western Europe and North America to highlight some important moments in the history of repair, the intrinsic links between professional and DIY repair practices, discourses on the "lifespan" of things, and changing disposal regimes.

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