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What is it to value? The case of clean in the city of Amsterdam 

March 4 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

What is it to value? The case of clean in the city of Amsterdam

Visiting Lecturer, Annemarie Mol, PhD
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam

Participate via Zoom

In STS we have amply studied contrasting modes of knowing reality, or realities, but what about valuing them? In this talk, I aim to push the study of valuing beyond ‘people having values’ so as to attend to ways in which, in situated practices, valuing is being done. As my case I take the good of clean in public spaces in Amsterdam. First, what kind of good is clean in this particular site? That there are clashing versions of it becomes all too apparent in times of corona: current efforts to ensure hygiene, lead on to a lot of pollution. Second, how is the good of clean being done? Here, diverse verbs are pertinent: a clean park may be appreciated by visitors, the cleanliness of a street assessed by inspectors, while both professional and amateur cleaners, if in different ways, serve the good of clean. Three, blame for uncleanliness may be shifted around between failing people and uncooperative things, but then again, the recurrent need to clean may also be accepted as a matter of course. What do such lessons about valuing offer to scholars who themselves, as part of our knowledge practices, critique, praise, or otherwise value the socio-material realities we grapple with?

Related readings:

Not Quite Cleain: Trailing Schoon and its Resonances: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0038026120905489

Hygiene and Pollution: http://somatosphere.net/2020/clean-in-times-of-covid-19.html/

Outsides and Insides: Covid-19 in Mirpur http://somatosphere.net/2020/outsides-insides-covid-19-mirpur.html/


March 4
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
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