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Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage
     

Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage

by Carl A. Zimring (Editor)
 

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Archaeologists and anthropologists have long studied artifacts of refuse from the distant past as a portal into ancient civilizations, but examining what we throw away today tells a story in real time and becomes an important and useful tool for academic study. Trash is studied by behavioral scientists who use data com­piled from the exploration of dumpsters to

Overview

Archaeologists and anthropologists have long studied artifacts of refuse from the distant past as a portal into ancient civilizations, but examining what we throw away today tells a story in real time and becomes an important and useful tool for academic study. Trash is studied by behavioral scientists who use data com­piled from the exploration of dumpsters to better understand our modern society and culture. Why does the average American household send 470 pounds of uneaten food to the garbage can on an annual basis? How do different societies around the world cope with their garbage in these troubled environmental times? How does our trash give insight into our attitudes about gender, class, religion, and art? The Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste explores the topic across multiple disciplines within the social sciences and ranges further to include business, consumerism, environmentalism, and marketing to comprise an outstanding reference for academic and public libraries.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Explaining that "[w]hat we classify and dispose of as waste provides rich insight into our behavior, social structures, and treatment of our environment," Zimring (social science & sustainability studies, Roosevelt Univ.; Cash for Your Trash: Recycling in America) and Rathje's (anthropology, Univ. of Arizona & Stanford Univ.; Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage) comprehensive set includes the perspectives of anthropologists, historians, philosophers, and sociologists. A reader's guide grouping topics such as "sociology of waste" makes access simple. Also included is a chronology with entries such as "Roman sewage systems—600 BCE." Every state and many large cities have their own entries, and this makes the set perfect for school reports. Of additional interest for projects is the resource guide that lists books, journals, and Internet resources. Appended is a manuscript excerpt from Rathje's Garbology 101. VERDICT For high schools and colleges with a strong environmental science focus and public libraries that support ecology projects for their communities.—Laverne Mann, Piscataway P.L., NJ
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Singular in scope, this work goes beyond environmental issues to also cover the anthropological, archeological, historical, philosophical, political, and sociological aspects of garbage. The editors share a passion for waste, and experts in the field author entries on a wide range of topics, including the culture of garbage, in more than 40 different geographic regions. Entries take an interdisciplinary approach; for example, the one on kitchen appliances lists the number of children who have died by being accidentally locked in landfill refrigerators and discusses landlord appliance-upkeep requirements and the environmental consequences of CFCs. Entries include a small number of citations and provide suggestions for further reading. The writing is clear and focused, and it is appropriate for advanced students who have minimal background information on the subject. Captioned black-and-white photographs are included with some entries, and a thorough index and useful glossary make this a good choice for institutions that need reference sources in the subject area.—Lindsay Cesari, Baldwinsville School District, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412988193
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Pages:
1232
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

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