Hidden Mountain: the Social Avoidance of Waste

ABSTRACT - This paper addresses the relatively neglected area of disposition, and specifically examines the nature of our relationship to waste. Interviews conducted with consumers and with actors within the waste management industry suggest that waste is viewed primarily as an inevitable consequence of economic progress. Further structuring these views are civilizing processes that underline our need to control the environment in which we live and participate. The paper argues that in order to maintain control we are encouraged to keep waste in its place; out of sight and out of mind. This is achieved through systemic smoothing mechanisms such as our socialization against waste, the role of rubbish bins and the activities of bin men.



Citation:

Edd de Coverly, Lisa O’Malley, and Maurice Patterson (2003) ,"Hidden Mountain: the Social Avoidance of Waste", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Darach Turley and Stephen Brown, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 241.

European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2003      Page 241

HIDDEN MOUNTAIN: THE SOCIAL AVOIDANCE OF WASTE

Edd de Coverly, Nottingham University Business School, UK

Lisa O’Malley, University of Limerick, Ireland

Maurice Patterson, University of Limerick, Ireland

ABSTRACT -

This paper addresses the relatively neglected area of disposition, and specifically examines the nature of our relationship to waste. Interviews conducted with consumers and with actors within the waste management industry suggest that waste is viewed primarily as an inevitable consequence of economic progress. Further structuring these views are civilizing processes that underline our need to control the environment in which we live and participate. The paper argues that in order to maintain control we are encouraged to keep waste in its place; out of sight and out of mind. This is achieved through systemic smoothing mechanisms such as our socialization against waste, the role of rubbish bins and the activities of bin men.

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Authors

Edd de Coverly, Nottingham University Business School, UK
Lisa O’Malley, University of Limerick, Ireland
Maurice Patterson, University of Limerick, Ireland



Volume

E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2003



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