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Restoring the value: ethics of care and pragmatic concerns in building renovation.

Conference contribution
Authors Elena Bogdanova
Published in Nordic STS 2019. Tampere, Finland. 13-14 June, 2019
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Language en
Links https://events.uta.fi/nordicsts2019...
Subject categories Technology and social change

Abstract

Focused initially on national monuments, the debate on building renovation has recently shifted to ordinary contexts of private houses which are not legally protected as cultural heritage. Besides fuelling a rapidly growing circular market for building parts that attracts a large number of professional actors, this trend led to a growing public debate about „careful renovation“ that in most cases is not legally regulated. In Sweden, the movements such as „I saved a deserted house“ has become a popular trend, and a lifestyle that attracts a diverse group of followers who are not experts in building renovation and who intend to take care of the houses. Maria Puig de la Bellacasa argues that care implicates different relationalities, issues and practices in different settings (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2017). In this particular case I am tracing practices of care that relate to maintenance and repair of old wooden houses. Empirically I approach online discussions focused on repair implemented by houseowners and other actors, in which the ideas of care in terms of economic efficiency or affordability of new materials are contrasted to solutions of ethical repair and reuse in a traditional way. Following Puig de la Bellacasa (2011) I trace different understanding and practices of care implemented by diverse actors on the continuum between strong normative commitments and pragmatic “concerns”.

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