‘Routine infrastructuring’ as ‘building everyday resilience with technology’ when disruption becomes ordinary

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40 Scopus citations


Getting a divorce. Being diagnosed with a disease. Going through a relationship breakup. Living through a natural disaster. All of these events are often life disrupting and debilitating. While some disruptive events are short-lived, some can be a routine part of everyday life. This leads to the question of how people who experience prolonged disruption in their lives build resilience—that is, how do they manage and overcome such events? To explore this question, this paper utilizes a case study approach to explore the use, creation, and re-appropriation of technology across three prolonged disruptions-the Second Gulf War in Iraq, veteran transitions, and the coming out experiences of LGBTQ-identifying people. Using a conceptual frame that brings together routine dynamics and infrastructuring, we find that engaging in routine infrastructuring practices generated resilience in people’s daily lives—a phenomenon we dub ‘routine infrastructuring’ as ‘building everyday resilience with technology.’ We then theorize properties of infrastructure and infrastructuring practice that enable resiliency, and conclude with how infrastructuring is a form of care work that is oriented towards individuals, communities, and society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Care work
  • Crisis
  • Disruption
  • Feminist design
  • Identity
  • Identity work
  • Infrastructure
  • Infrastructuring
  • Resilience
  • Routines
  • STS
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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