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Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture
— —
Katherine Wilson
Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture by Katherine Wilson at Abbey's Bookshop,

Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture

Katherine Wilson


Monash University Publishing

Popular culture;
DIY: general


336 pages

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ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK —— Tinkerers are people who habitually devote their time and passions to adapting, inventing, creating, mending, improvising and creating, often as a direct response against consumerism or commercialisation. Arguing that tinkering is culturally, socially and economically important, this book combines a sociological and philosophical approach with deep research and interviews with Australians who reveal tinkering to be ways of reintroducing artisanal knowledge into mass culture, and bypassing the formal economy. An academic but highly readable and thought–provoking book. Lindy Jones


At a time when the labour-market is failing as a source of security and identity for many, domestic tinkering is emerging as a legitimate occupation in a way we have not seen since pre-industrial times. In Australia, practices of repair, invention, building, improvising, and crafting, that take place in sheds, back-yards, paddocks, kitchens, and home-workshops, are becoming an important part of the informal economy and social cohesion, complicating distinctions between work and leisure, amateur and professional, production and consumption.

Building on the work of historians, sociologists, psychologists, and economists, but with a journalist’s impulse for the currency of her story, Katherine Wilson documents domestic tinkering as an undervalued form of material creativity, social connection, psychological sanctuary, personal identity, and even political activism. Tinkering: Australians Reinvent DIY Culture mounts a surprising case for the profound value of domestic tinkering in contemporary Australia.

By:   Katherine Wilson
Imprint:   Monash University Publishing
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   500g
ISBN:   9781925495478
ISBN 10:   1925495477
Series:   Monash Studies in Australian Society
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   October 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Katherine Wilson is an author, editor, graphic designer and award-winning journalist, who also teaches and researches in the university sector, where she has a PhD in cultural studies. Her feature articles have appeared in the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Conversation, Australian, Courier-Mail, Art Monthly,, New Matilda, the Law Institute Journal and Good Weekend. Her essays have appeared in journals including Griffith Review, Meanjin, Eyeline, Eureka Street and Overland. She edited Overland between 2002 and 2007 and has worked in advocacy roles for non-profit and environmental bodies.

A rich world emerges in this well-crafted and wellresearched book. The journalistic writing belies the deep theorisation of the topic, and Wilson moves fluidly among theoretical, ethnographic and narrative elements to make an original study of maker culture. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. -- Kirsty Robertson

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