A Public Sociology of Waste


Critically analysing how waste is currently configured as a ‘household’ issue, this book illuminates the implications of these framings and how public sociology can engage critical publics to reorient waste as a global socio-ethical issue.

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Is it possible to tackle waste by recycling, reusing and reducing consumption on an individual level alone?

This provocative book critically analyses the widespread narrative around waste as a ‘household’ issue.

Expert scholar Myra J. Hird uncovers neoliberal capitalism’s fallacy of infinite growth as the real culprit and shows how industry and local governments work in tandem to deflect attention away from the real causes of our global waste crisis.

Hird offers crucial insights on the relations between waste and wider societal issues such as poverty, racism, sexism, Indigeneity, decolonisation and social justice, showcasing how sociology can contribute to a ‘public imagination’ of waste.

Myra J. Hird is Full Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University, and an Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.