Time to fix: repair heuristics in Estonia and Portugal



This paper discusses the relevance of repair actions for the maintenance of social bonds, suggesting that these interventions have heuristic possibilities to address the crises of our time. The general argument points to important questions, such as the distinction between caretaking, endurance and resilience. Building on a literature review and ten years of fieldwork in two different locations (Estonia and Portugal), it develops an argument for post-brokenness and repair as a heuristic of the contemporary social condition. The different examples here included show the complex temporality of fixing interventions as well as the urge to understanding contextual nuances of socio-material in/stability and damage. A multi-sited attention to fixing interventions allows us to comprehend the processes and conditions under which certain things acquire socio-material stability against the grain. In this sense, repair work is presented as socially and politically-loaded by putting things to some order, activating other kinds of relations and holding together different dimensions of care.