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By Zsuzsa Gille

Zsuzsa Gille combines social heritage, cultural research, and environmental sociology to enhance an extended past due social idea of waste during this learn of waste administration, Hungarian kingdom socialism, and post--Cold warfare capitalism. From 1948 to the top of the Soviet interval, Hungary built a cult of waste that valued reuse and recycling. With privatization the outdated environmentally precious, notwithstanding no longer faultless, waste regime was once eradicated, and dumping and waste incineration have been back promoted. Gille's research specializes in the fight among a Budapest-based chemical corporation and the small rural village that turned its poisonous unload site.

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Sample text

Waste Regimes In conclusion, let me summarize the key propositions that have emerged and that form the foundation of a social theory of waste. First, I have argued that waste is a social category. This is not a simple social constructionist argument, however. Rather, I claim that there are social patterns of the social nature of waste. What appears to be unique in different time periods and different societies are the types of wastes produced (their material composition); the key sources of waste production (for example, unutilized surplus or insufficient inputs) and the dominant mode of waste circulation and metamorphosis; the socially and culturally determined ways of misperceiving waste’s materiality; the ways in which, as a result, waste tends to ‘‘bite back’’; the cultural, political, and moral inclination to resolve waste’s liminality (inscribed negativity or positivity); and, finally, key struggles around waste (in the sphere of production or in the sphere of distribution).

If the rate of growth exceeds the rate with which efficiency increases, we still have increasing volumes of waste output. Second, waste is generated even in cases of maximum efficiency, and in fact what type of material or energy efficiency we are talking about invites us to consider more seriously material agency. This, however, must go beyond reducing the materiality of waste to pollution, as is the case in most of environmental sociology. Here, the problem is the exclusive focus on the distribution of waste and ignoring its production.

My fieldwork and, in particular, the way in which villagers and company representatives talked about the past thoroughly informed my choice of archival records to research. For example, many in Garé could not separate the opening of the toxic waste dump in their village from the fact that they had previously become administratively subordinated to the neighboring larger village, Szalánta. This compelled me to look at local and county archives, especially those that pertained to regional development and settlement rationalization projects.

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