Research

Maintainers Central pursues critical inquiry into the daily maintenance practices of individuals, organizations, and communities. In all fields, we see people eager for more research and better data to inform discussions and decision-making. The need is especially acute where maintenance has been neglected or taken for granted. Through our research agenda, we seek to 1) ground public discourse regarding humans’ relationship to technologies, as part of our broader mission to achieve a more caring and well-maintained world; and 2) measure and document the impacts of valuing or devaluing maintenance.

Projects

Understanding Essential Information Maintenance Work Within and Beyond COVID-19

What types of information maintenance work is deemed “essential” or mission-critical during the COVID-19 pandemic within cultural stewardship organizations, and how has the organization of that work changed during the pandemic? How do essential information maintenance workers perceive their role and status within cultural stewardship organizations? In what ways do essential information maintainers’ perceptions of their role and status within cultural stewardship organizations relate to access and preservation outcomes?

Essential Data about Essential Work: Data Visualization and Querying Tools for Understanding Maintainers in the Workforce

By leveraging high quality data from across domains and data sources and making them more accessible, we are giving researchers, businesses, policymakers and other stakeholders the tools to more meaningfully invest in the more than 50 million households who, despite severe economic hardship, play critical roles in the maintenance of our infrastructure and economy.

Psychology of Maintenance

Why do individuals neglect maintenance? How do people perceive maintenance-oriented occupations? And how does the relative status (or “sexiness”) of maintenance shape career paths and societal allocations of resources?

00117 // The annual “dinosaurs” cleaning at Crystal Palace // Bernardo Robles Hidalgo / Koen Berghmans at MAMA

What do you think?

Please let us know about research ideas that you think would be of interest for the Maintainers community.

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