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WYSE Series in Social Anthropology
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Waste, Value, and the Imagination
Edited by Catherine Alexander and Andrew Sanchez
Afterword by Niko Besnier and Susana Narotzky
210 pages, 16 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-009-6 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (October 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78920-010-2 eBook
“An excellent topic. What I liked in particular was the sense of cohesion… The authors have addressed situations that speak to each other.” • Bjørn Thomassen, Roskilde University
What happens to people, places and objects that do not fit the ordering regimes and progressive narratives of modernity? Conventional understandings imply that progress leaves such things behind, and excludes them as though they were valueless waste. This volume uses the concept of indeterminacy to explore how conditions of exclusion and abandonment may give rise to new values, as well as to states of despair and alienation. Drawing upon ethnographic research about a wide variety of contexts, the chapters here explore how indeterminacy is created and experienced in relationship to projects of classification and progress.
Catherine Alexander is Professor of Anthropology at Durham University. Before her current appointment, she worked at Goldsmiths for ten years. She has published widely on wastes and recycling – including Economies of Recycling, co-edited with Joshua Reno (Zed Books, 2012) – as well as economic and urban anthropology.
Andrew Sanchez is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He has published widely on economy and labor, and is the author of Criminal Capital: Violence, Corruption and Class in Industrial India (Routledge, 2015).
Subject: General Anthropology Sociology Political Economy
List of Figures
Introduction: The Values of Indeterminacy
Catherine Alexander and Andrew Sanchez
Chapter 1. Kept in Suspense: The Unsettling Indeterminacy of US Landfills
Joshua O. Reno
Chapter 2. Experiments in Living: The Value of Indeterminacy in Trans Art
Chapter 3. The Production of Indeterminacy: On the Unforeseeable Futures of Postindustrial Excess
Chapter 4. Human Waste in the Land of Abundance: Two Kinds of Gypsy Indeterminacy in Norway
Cathrine Moe Thorleiffson and Thomas Hylland Eriksen
Chapter 5. Waste People/Value Producers: Ambiguity, Indeterminacy and Postsocialist Russian-Speaking Miners
Chapter 6. Indeterminate Classifications: Being "More than Kin" in Kazakhstan
Chapter 7. The Politics of Indeterminacy: Boundary Dislocations around Waste, Value and Work in Subic Bay (Philippines)
Epilogue: Indetertminacy: Between Worth and Worthlessness
Niko Besnier and Susana Narotzky
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