Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic

9780415625821The newly published edited collection Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic explores the material politics of plastics. From food packaging to credit cards, plastic facilitates every part of our daily lives, and stars a central role in discard debates. Universalised and abstracted, it is often treated as the passive object of political deliberations, or a problematic material demanding human management.

This interdisciplinary collection focuses on how the presence and recalcitrance of plastic reveals the relational exchanges across human and synthetic materialities. It captures multiplicity by engaging with the processual materialities or plasticity of plastic. Through a series of themed essays on plastic materialities, plastic economies, plastic bodies and new articulations of plastic, the editors and chapter authors examine specific aspects of plastic in action. How are multiple plastic realities enacted? What are their effects?


Introduction: From Materiality to Plasticity by Jennifer Gabrys, Gay Hawkins and Mike Michael

Part I: Plastic Materialities
1. Plastics, Materials and Dreams of Dematerialization by Bernadette Bensaude Vincent
2. Process and Plasticity: Printing, Prototyping and the Prospects of Plastic by Mike Michael

Part II: Plastic Economies
3. Made to Be Wasted: PET and Topologies of Disposability by Gay Hawkins
4. The Material Politics of Vinyl: How the State, Industry and Citizens Created and Transformed West Germany’s Consumer Democracy by Andrea Westermann
5. Paying With Plastic: The Enduring Presence of the Credit Card by Joe Deville

Part III: Plastic Bodies
6. The Death and Life of Plastic Surfaces: Mobile Phones by Tom Fisher
7. Reflections of an Unrepentant Plastiphobe: An Essay on Plasticity and the STS Life by Jody A. Roberts
8. Plasticizers: A Twenty-First Century Miasma by Max Liboiron
9. Plastics, the Environment and Human Health by Richard Thompson

Part IV: New Articulations
10. Where Does This Stuff Come From? Oil, Plastic and the Distribution of Violence by James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello
11. International Pellet Watch: Studies of the Magnitude and Spatial Variation of Chemical Risks Associated with Environmental Plastics by Shige Takada
12. Plastic and the Work of the Biodegradable by Jennifer Gabrys