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Editorial notices


journal for qualitative research

ISSN 1211-5770
Registration code MK ČR: E 8364
Published by the civil association Casopis Biograf
Krompach 26, 47157
ICO: 27003213
Two issues per year.
Editor-in-chief: Barbora Spalová (

Text detail

Biograf 2022/75

A proper place? Practice of everyday and building maintenance in a “home for persons with health impairments”

Dana Hradcová; Michal Synek; Radek Carboch

A proper place? Practice of everyday and building maintenance in a “home for persons with health impairments”

The residential Home F for people identified as ‘mentally impaired’ is a state within a state, with its own citizens, government, economy, and with its own rules, managerial procedures, and values. Like Goffman’s asylums (1961), it houses big number of inmates, providing for most of their basic needs. Out of the many ‘things’ which need to be taken care of to allow the Home F to function, we focus on the ‘building’, understood not as a physical structure, but as an emerging socio-material network. While at the first glance the ‘building’ seems to be a single phenomenon shared by all, it changes with the practices by which it is kept and used. We describe two sets of such maintenance activities – the practices of everyday life (de Certeau 1984), through which the so-called ‘service users’ appropriate their immediate living space, and the building maintenance, administering the whole institution. These two modes of using the Home F build on different strategies and experiences, acquired through different means. We ask how the maintenance/knowledge practices of the maintenance men equipped with the universal keys, CCTVs, and other high-tech devices relate to the experiences of the inhabitants eking out a living in a world of unalterable rules and barriers. Through exploring how practices typical of the two maintenance styles (Denise & Pontille 2017) influence, exploit and enable (or not) each other, we hope to shed some fresh empirical light on the tensions between ‘strategies of the strong’ and ‘tactics of the weak’ and between democratic and totalitarian institutions.


tactics and strategies; proper place; matters of care; matters of politics; maintenance; ‘home for persons with health impairments’

Biograf themes:

Everyday life and the ordinary; Medicine and health; Care and maintenance


SYNEK, M. / HRADCOVÁ, D. / CARBOCH, R. (2022): Vlastní místo? Každodennost a údržba budovy v „domově pro osoby se zdravotním postižením“ [A proper place? Practice of everyday and building maintenance in a “home for persons with health impairments”].Biograf (75-76): 67 paragraphs. Available at [last access17. 04. 2024]


Tato studie je výsledkem badatelské činnosti podporované Grantovou agenturou České republiky v rámci grantu GA ČR, 19-07724S/P404 „Zranitelní obyvatelé v křehkých obydlích: Dvojí starost pobytových služeb“. Autoři a autorka textu děkují za plodné diskuse, bez nichž by tento text nevznikl, jak jeho hrdinům a hrdinkám – obyvatelům a správcům „domovů“, tak čtenářům a čtenářkám předchozích verzí, zejména pak Pavlu Baršovi, Petru Kubalovi, Monice Bosé a recenzentům/recenzentkám Biografu.

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