This paper reexamines media and technology studies from the standpoint of “broken world thinking“: an orientation that takes seriously the fragility of the human, technical, and natural worlds around us, and foregrounds acts of breakdown, maintenance and repair as central to technological and human experience in the world. Drawing on pragmatist and phenomenological roots, it argues for maintenance and repair as unheralded sites of creativity and innovation, knowledge and power, and a neglected ethics of care. It argues against the frequent productivist bias of media and technology scholarship, and urges attention to maintenance, repair and ongoing acts of care as a powerful window into the long-run relationships that tie human lives to the objects and things that surround them.
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