In 2015, tractor manufacturer John Deere made waves for sending its dealers a letter asserting that when farmers repaired their own John Deere equipment, what they were really doing was violating US copyright law. At the time, this came as news to a lot of farmers: as a characteristically self-sufficient community, they’d always repaired their equipment on their own. How did putting a computer on a tractor change this?
Modern municipal waste disposal is not limited to removal of garbage, but often involves a strategic churning out of unwanted people, and extreme events such as dump fires reflect the social precariousness of marginalised communities like those of waste-pickers.
This short study analyzes the professional and political discussions of post-industrial and post-consumer waste, discards and recycling in state-socialist Hungary and connects these discourses with the changing cultures of waste, discards, and recycling around the globe.
Firsting in research, then, is not about being first to a place, first to know something, first to discover something. It is a proclamation of power to make property in someone’s home, to put your own name on otherwise shared or common knowledge. It’s a proclamation of the privilege to not see others, cite others, or acknowledge others.
The obsession that media has had with small businesses has hidden the most aggressive public health measures are missing the biggest driver of the pandemic: large industrial workplaces.
Though Nigeria approved a national solid waste management policy earlier this year, it does not provide a plan to include the large informal sector. An inclusive policy is one recognising and involving informal waste workers in solid waste management while also yielding improvements in their lives and waste management performance.
The field of discard studies is united by a critical framework that questions premises of what seems normal or given, what is valued and not valued, and the processes of devaluation and normalization. This includes the devaluation of workers and their labour. Discard studies is also a normative field, working to make systems of discard […]
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Discard studies spoke with three leading waste researchers about the biggest myths of the circular economy.
Australian discard studies scholars Catherine Phillips, David Boarder Giles, and Gay Hawkins discuss intellectual traditions, settler colonialism, and the future of the field.
“The main goal and mission of a content moderator is to clean up the dirt.” — unnamed content moderator in The Cleaners (00:06:20). All systems must rid themselves of things. If they don’t discard, those systems face existential threats to their continuation. This is a fundamental insight of anthropologist Mary Douglas’s work and a core […]
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