The materiality of weather in 'Mango Madness' season

how heat and humidity co-produce everyday practices in Australia’s Monsoonal North

Elspeth Oppermann, C Maller

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)Research

    Abstract

    The weather of Australia's Monsoonal North has always played a key role in shaping everyday practices. Colloquially, people are said to 'go troppo' during the hot and humid 'mango madness' season. This paper draws on post-humanist theories of social practice to explore the remembered and temporally-experienced materiality of monsoonal weather—specifically heat and humidity. We are interested in how these unique weather conditions act to co-produce outdoor working practices in the region. This paper draws on a case study of electricity infrastructure workers. Their daily exposure to exceptionally harsh conditions means their practices produce the boundary between the mundane and catastrophic, through the ways they experience and manage heat stress. We examine their practices to unpack how people who live and work with already 'extreme' weather navigate everyday impacts of climate change. More specifically, we explore how past memories of weather conditions and the practices which anchor them can become a source of adaptive capacity in the Monsoonal North. Through our analysis we show how working practices (re)produce and are (re)produced by the bodies that 'weather' the weather, becoming shaped by it, and contingently comporting themselves in relation to it. This, we argue, challenges the view that heat and humidity are an external 'risk' to humans, and instead frames weather, and people's embodied experiences and memories of it, as an opportunity for adaptation. We conclude by proposing that a temporal understanding of the materiality of weather in everyday practices enables practical, tangible and meaningful opportunities for climate change adaptation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages1-23
    Number of pages24
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventRoyal Anthropological Institute Anthropology Weather and Climate Change Conference - ROYAL ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSTITUTE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF AFRICA, OCEANIA AND THE AMERICAS OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM, London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 27 May 201629 May 2016

    Conference

    ConferenceRoyal Anthropological Institute Anthropology Weather and Climate Change Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityLondon
    Period27/05/1629/05/16

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    climate change
    electricity
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    infrastructure
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    Cite this

    Oppermann, E., & Maller, C. (2016). The materiality of weather in 'Mango Madness' season: how heat and humidity co-produce everyday practices in Australia’s Monsoonal North. 1-23. Paper presented at Royal Anthropological Institute Anthropology Weather and Climate Change Conference, London, United Kingdom.
    Oppermann, Elspeth ; Maller, C. / The materiality of weather in 'Mango Madness' season : how heat and humidity co-produce everyday practices in Australia’s Monsoonal North. Paper presented at Royal Anthropological Institute Anthropology Weather and Climate Change Conference, London, United Kingdom.24 p.
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    abstract = "The weather of Australia's Monsoonal North has always played a key role in shaping everyday practices. Colloquially, people are said to 'go troppo' during the hot and humid 'mango madness' season. This paper draws on post-humanist theories of social practice to explore the remembered and temporally-experienced materiality of monsoonal weather—specifically heat and humidity. We are interested in how these unique weather conditions act to co-produce outdoor working practices in the region. This paper draws on a case study of electricity infrastructure workers. Their daily exposure to exceptionally harsh conditions means their practices produce the boundary between the mundane and catastrophic, through the ways they experience and manage heat stress. We examine their practices to unpack how people who live and work with already 'extreme' weather navigate everyday impacts of climate change. More specifically, we explore how past memories of weather conditions and the practices which anchor them can become a source of adaptive capacity in the Monsoonal North. Through our analysis we show how working practices (re)produce and are (re)produced by the bodies that 'weather' the weather, becoming shaped by it, and contingently comporting themselves in relation to it. This, we argue, challenges the view that heat and humidity are an external 'risk' to humans, and instead frames weather, and people's embodied experiences and memories of it, as an opportunity for adaptation. We conclude by proposing that a temporal understanding of the materiality of weather in everyday practices enables practical, tangible and meaningful opportunities for climate change adaptation.",
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    Oppermann, E & Maller, C 2016, 'The materiality of weather in 'Mango Madness' season: how heat and humidity co-produce everyday practices in Australia’s Monsoonal North' Paper presented at Royal Anthropological Institute Anthropology Weather and Climate Change Conference, London, United Kingdom, 27/05/16 - 29/05/16, pp. 1-23.

    The materiality of weather in 'Mango Madness' season : how heat and humidity co-produce everyday practices in Australia’s Monsoonal North. / Oppermann, Elspeth; Maller, C.

    2016. 1-23 Paper presented at Royal Anthropological Institute Anthropology Weather and Climate Change Conference, London, United Kingdom.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)Research

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    Oppermann E, Maller C. The materiality of weather in 'Mango Madness' season: how heat and humidity co-produce everyday practices in Australia’s Monsoonal North. 2016. Paper presented at Royal Anthropological Institute Anthropology Weather and Climate Change Conference, London, United Kingdom.