Waste and its disguises: technologies of (un)knowing

Catherine Alexander, Patrick O’Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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The introduction to this special issue starts with a brief thematisation of the key theoretical interventions in the anthropology of waste in order to situate our own contribution. We follow this by discussing, and adding to the recent anthropology and sociology of ignorance and not knowing, before turning to the intersections between waste and ignorance, thinking through how we and other scholars have theorised ways of deflecting attention away from wastes, whether they are lands, material or human bodies. We broadly categorise these technologies of deflection and unknowing into ‘spatial’, ‘temporal’, ‘epistemological’, ‘calculative’ and ‘rhetorical’. Specific techniques within these categories serve to eclipse other ways of knowing (i.e. the sensory, affective aspects of waste (e)valuation) and often depoliticise decisions concerning wastes, places, materials, people and their livelihoods.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date30 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jul 2020


  • Waste
  • Epistemology
  • Ignorance
  • Unknowing
  • Denial


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