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Pollution, Health, and Disaster

Emerging Contributions in Ethnographic Research

Alexa S. Dietrich

and represents a range of work that has addressed both natural and human-spawned hazards ( Oliver-Smith and Hoffman 2002 ). Research focusing on pollution frequently highlights the experiences of living with pollution, social relationships with

Restricted access

Lam Yee Man

risk function less effectively in some countries? For instance, although China was struck severely by pollution—in the 1960s, streams and air were polluted, fishes and agricultural products were contaminated, some fishermen even showed symptoms of

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Addressing Marine Plastic Pollution

The Plastic Soup Foundation and the Four-Dimensional Application of the Social Quality Approach

Laurent J. G. van der Maesen

Plastic pollution has become a pressing environmental problem. An increasing mass of plastic products ends up in oceans and landfills. One international grassroots organization—the Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF)—tries to influence politics and policies of governments and businesses that can be held responsible for this pollution. In Michiel Roscam Abbing’s recent book Plastic Soup Atlas of the World, the current problematique of plastic pollution is presented from a broad perspective and in a highly accessible way. This article’s main objective is to investigate, first, what can be learned from the PSF’s history and context and, second, whether this knowledge can deliver points of departure for enhancing the social quality approach to become functional for addressing environmental questions from the perspective of societal changes.

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Manufacturing loss

Nostalgia and risk in Ludwigshafen

Peter Phillimore and Patricia Bell

This article takes cultural understandings of industrial risk in a center of the global chemical industry as an opening that, perhaps unexpectedly, highlights nostalgia for a particular period in (West) Germany's postwar history. Based on fieldwork in Ludwigshafen, we reflect on memories among an older generation of residents that evoke the severity of industrial pollution from the city's vast chemical industry during the 1950s and 1960s. Although the pollution of that era is hardly mourned, it was portrayed as emblematic of a culturally defining era, an era valorized as one of enormous achievement in a more straightforward time. We draw on Tim Ingold's concept of “taskscapes” and his emphasis on skill and Tim Edensor's discussion of “excessive spaces” and “multiple absences” to explore the selectivity of the nostalgia of Ludwigshafen's older residents, in which the celebration of the rebuilding of the postwar chemical industry, and its dominant company BASF, simultaneously obscured problematic memories associated with the city's chemical industry in wartime.

Open access

Néstor L. Silva

; Seiler 2008 ). It has provisioned both American suburbia ( Huber 2013 ; Rome 2001 ) and military power ( Yergin 1990 ). The social and ecological toxicity integral to modern petroleum commodification is how I define petrotoxicity . Broadly, pollution

Open access

Out of Place in Outer Space?

Exploring Orbital Debris through Geographical Imaginations

Hannah Hunter and Elizabeth Nelson

thought or capitalist accumulation. Others may be less ubiquitous, for instance an environmentalist might find a lens with the label “pollution” most fitting to apply to the increasing human-made material in outer space, while an anthropologist might find

Open access


Pollution and Toxicity: Cultivating Ecological Practices for Troubled Times

Josh Fisher, Mary Mostafanezhad, Alex Nading, and Sarah Marie Wiebe

goes the narrative of the Anthropocene, a purportedly new geological epoch demarcated by the planetary effects of human activity. The symbolic anthropologist Mary Douglas (1966) understood pollution as “matter out of place,” a kind of disorder that

Open access

Green Out of the Blue, or How (Not) to Deal with Overfed Oceans

An Analytical Review of Coastal Eutrophication and Social Conflict

Alix Levain, Carole Barthélémy, Magalie Bourblanc, Jean-Marc Douguet, Agathe Euzen, and Yves Souchon

2008 ; Nixon 2009 ; UN 2017 ). A major type of land-based pollution, it is now considered the most striking symptom of difficult-to-reverse disruptions of biogeochemical nutrient cycles at the global scale ( Steffen et al. 2015 ), because of massive

Open access

Brittany Kiessling and Keely Maxwell

depth to our understanding of the sociopolitical life of contaminated sites and pollution/toxicity over time. Our article explores how the political and social relationships, technoscientific practices of environmental management and monitoring, and

Free access

Confronting Tyranny in a Public Health Agency

Crafting a ‘Philosophy of Praxis’ into a ‘Community of Resistance’

Brian McKenna

and ordered her silent for doing the same work I was now hired to do. This revelation was environmental health data as much as any local pollution data. I developed a friendship with Carol and decided that I would recruit her as part of my community of