The charge against electricity

Michael Anusas, Tim Ingold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Electricity has become such a ubiquitous feature of modern life that most of us would have no idea how to manage without it. Interruptions in supply are experienced as unsustainable moments of crisis. The possibility that the supply of electricity might eventually run dry is every government’s worst nightmare, and underpins the global politics of energy. Do we blame electricity for having brought us to this state of dependency? Can we hold it responsible for the disempowerment of citizens, for the entrapment of their lives within a state sponsored and corporately maintained grid? Or does it, on the contrary, hold the potential for emancipation? Is electricity guilty or not guilty? In what follows, we begin with the case for the prosecution. Then we present the case for the defence. You, our readers, are the jury, and we leave the verdict for you to decide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-554
Number of pages15
JournalCultural Anthropology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • anthropology
  • design
  • electricity
  • infrastructure
  • architecture
  • energy


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