Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage

Carl A. Zimring and William L. (Laurens) Rathje

Published by SAGE Publications, Inc, 2012
ISBN 10: 1412988195 / ISBN 13: 9781412988193
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Synopsis: 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.

From Booklist: This reference work is (a) trash, (b) garbage, (c) junk, (d) detritus. Of course, the answer is (e) all of the above! This is the first encyclopedia to focus exclusively on garbology—what society throws away. It covers the usual environmental topics but with a definite archaeological, historical, and social orientation. Rather than discuss recycling and the science of waste, the work discusses their sociological implications from ancient times through the present day. Major topic areas include “Archaeology of Garbage,” “Industrial and Commercial Waste,” “Consumption and Personal Waste,” “Municipal Waste,” “Waste Collection and Disposal,” and “Sociology of Waste.” Although there is a definite focus on the U.S., including an entry for every state, the editors have given the work an international flavor by including entries on major cities, nations, and regions of the globe. All articles were contributed by scholars but are written for the general adult reader. Each entry includes a bibliography of additional readings from books, journal articles, and websites. Black-and-white illustrations accompany some articles but do not do much to enhance the text. The encyclopedia contains a glossary of terms; a short chronology of major developments in waste disposal and management; and a resource guide–bibliography. One of the most interesting features of this work is the Garbology 101 section, an almost 100-page narrative appendix written by contributing editor Rathje. In a sometimes humorous, sometimes sobering, but always idiosyncratic and engaging tone, it presents a comprehensive review of the issues surrounding consumption in today’s society. This appendix alone is almost worth the price of the encyclopedia. Unfortunately, the appendix does not appear to have been indexed, which means that many readers will miss out on the content provided by this gem. If your library supports users interested in the environment, you will not want to throw out this new work. --David Tyckoson

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Title: Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The ...
Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description SAGE Publications Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In our age of globalization and multiculturalism, it has never been more important to understand and appreciate all cultures across the world. The four volumes take a step forward in this endeavour by presenting concise information on those regions least well-known to students across Europe: the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The volumes convey what daily life is like for people in these selected regions. Entries will aid readers in understanding the importance of cultural sociology, to appreciate the effects of cultural forces around the world, and to learn the history of countries and cultures within these important regions. Key Features -Topics are explored within historical context, in three broad historical periods: prehistory to 1250, 1250 to 1920 and 1920 to the present. -One volume each is devoted to the regions of the Middle East and Africa and then one volume to East and Southeast Asia and a final volume to West, Central and South Asia. The volumes include extensive use of photographs and maps to explain cultural and geographic content. -Each volume has its own volume editor with expertise in that particular region. Key Themes Arts, Culture and Science People, Society and Dynasties Religion and Law Family and Daily Life Conflicts and Wars Politics and Government Health and Education Economy, Trade and Industry National Geography and History. Bookseller Inventory # AAX9781412988193

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