A World Laid Waste?: Responding to the Social, Cultural and Political Consequences of Globalisation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A World Laid Waste?

Responding to the Social, Cultural and Political Consequences of Globalisation, 1st Edition

Edited by Francis Dodsworth, Antonia Walford


176 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-03-07
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Globalisation and neo-liberalism have seen the rise of new international powers, increasingly interlinked economies, and mass urbanisation. The internet, mobile communications and mass migration have transformed lives around the planet. For some, this has been positive and liberating, but it has also been destructive of settled communities and ways of living, ecologies, economies and livelihoods, cultural values, political programmes and identities. This edited volume uses the concept of waste to explore and critique the destructive impact of globalisation and neo-liberalism.

By bringing to bear the distinct perspectives of sociologists of class, religion and culture; anthropologists concerned with infrastructures, material waste and energy; and analysts from accounting and finance exploring financialization and supply chains, this collection explores how creative responses to the wastelands of globalisation can establish alternative, at times fragile, narratives of hope. Responding to the tendency in contemporary public and academic discourse to resort to a language of the ‘laid to waste’ or ‘left behind’ to make sense of social and cultural change, the authors of this volume focus on the practices and rhetorics of waste in a range of different empirical settings to reveal the spaces for political action and social imagination that are emerging even in times of polarisation, uncertainty and disillusionment.

This inter-disciplinary approach, developed through a decade of research in the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), provides a distinctive perspective on the ways in which people in very different social and cultural contexts are negotiating the destructive and creative possibilities of recent political and economic change.

Table of Contents

1. Must Brexit be a waste? Economic policies for a disunited kingdom

Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Michael Moran and Karel Williams

2. ‘The Ghosts of Class’: Space, Waste and Hope in the Ex-Industrial North’

Niall Cunningham, Andrew Miles and Adrian Leguina

3. Rubbish City, Rubbish Music: Durability and Transience in ‘Madchester’ Club Cultures

Jill Ebrey

4. Coping with Change: Community, Environment, and Engagement in a London Buddhist Community

Francis Dodsworth and Sophie Watson

5. A Waste of Energy? Traversing the Moral Landscape of Energy Consumption in the UK

Hannah Knox

6. Reconfiguring State-Citizen Relations: The Politics of Waste Infrastructures

Penny Harvey, Yannis Kallianos and Camilla Lewis

7. Refugee Waste: Death, Survival and Solidarity in Lesvos

Marie Gillespie

About the Editors

Francis Dodsworth is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Kingston University, London, where he has taught criminology and sociology since 2014. Previously, he worked for ten years in the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) at The Open University. During that time, he published in several fields ranging from the history of crime, policing and personal protection to the history of architecture and urban improvement and contemporary and historical religious cultures.

Antonia Walford is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Anthropology at University College London, and a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Social Data Science (SODAS), University of Copenhagen. Previously, she was a Research Associate in the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, in the Social Life of Methods. Her work explores the effects of the exponential growth of digital data on social and cultural imaginaries and practices, focusing particularly on large-scale digitisation in the environmental sciences.

About the Series


Culture, Economy and the Social

This series establishes the importance of innovative contemporary, comparative and historical work on the relations between social, cultural and economic change. It publishes empirically-based research that is theoretically informed, that critically examines the ways in which social, cultural and economic change is framed and made visible, and that is attentive to perspectives that tend to be ignored or side-lined by grand theorising or epochal accounts of social change. The series addresses the diverse manifestations of contemporary capitalism, and considers the various ways in which the `social', `the cultural' and `the economic' are apprehended as tangible sites of value and practice. It is explicitly comparative, publishing books that work across disciplinary perspectives, cross-culturally, or across different historical periods.

We are particularly focused on publishing books in the following areas that fit with the broad remit of the series:

  • Cultural consumption
  • Cultural economy
  • Cities and urban change
  • Materiality, sociality and the post-human
  • Culture and media industries
  • Culture and governance
  • Emerging forms of cultural and economic practice

The series is actively engaged in the analysis of the different theoretical traditions that have contributed to critiques of the `cultural turn'. We are particularly interested in perspectives that engage with Bourdieu, Foucauldian approaches to knowledge and cultural practices, Actor-network approaches, and with those that are associated with issues arising from Deleuze's work around complexity, affect or topology. The series is equally concerned to explore the new agendas emerging from current critiques of the cultural turn: those associated with the descriptive turn for example. Our commitment to interdisciplinarity thus aims at enriching theoretical and methodological discussion, building awareness of the common ground has emerged in the past decade, and thinking through what is at stake in those approaches that resist integration to a common analytical model.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General