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Indeterminacy: Waste, Value, and the Imagination

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Volume 7

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 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (October 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78920-755-2 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (October 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-010-2 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“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: Anthropology (General)SociologyPolitical and Economic Anthropology


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