By Zsuzsa Gille
Zsuzsa Gille combines social background, cultural research, and environmental sociology to strengthen an extended past due social concept of waste during this research of waste administration, Hungarian kingdom socialism, and post--Cold struggle capitalism. From 1948 to the top of the Soviet interval, Hungary constructed a cult of waste that valued reuse and recycling. With privatization the previous environmentally useful, even though no longer perfect, 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 grew to become its poisonous unload site.
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Additional info for From the Cult of Waste to the Trash Heap of History: The Politics of Waste in Socialist and Postsocialist Hungary
Given the topic of my research—the changing concept of waste in Hungary, and not in a particular locality, from 1948 to 2004—ethnography has been extended in space and in time. That my research is ethnographic means two things. First, employing the sense of ethnography as a concrete methodological tool, I have used participant observation to complement data and insights gained from other methods, such as archival research and 35 f r o m t h e c u lt o f wa s t e t o t h e t r a s h h e a p o f h i s t o r y interviews.
A shirt that was produced with a defective textile that causes it to rip the ﬁrst time we wear it becomes waste. Bananas that spoil en route to the supermarket become waste as well. Third, we can also turn into waste well-made products that are perfectly capable of fulﬁlling the human need for which they were created when we don’t ﬁnd uses for the items. This is the case with goods for which there is no demand—either because they are overproduced or because of some of their qualitative aspects, such as aesthetic or sensory appeal.
That is, it has been understood to occupy the negative side of a number of different dichotomies, such as efﬁciency/inefﬁciency; usefulness/uselessness; order/disorder; gain/loss; clean/dirty; alive/dead; fertile/sterile. By and large, there is a curious though not counterintuitive afﬁnity among disciplines and the choice of a binary. Economists tend to identify waste as cost inefﬁciency and low productivity; natural scientists, ecologists, and environmental sociologists think of waste as pollution and thus as the opposite of cleanliness and hygiene; and anthropologists and humanists see waste as the opposite of order and value.