Living with Waste: Becoming “Free” As Waste Pickers in Chinese Cities
Publication in refereed journal

香港中文大學研究人員

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摘要The essay examines the meanings of waste in the community formation of waste pickers in today’s Chinese megacities. We show that waste pickers in China echo to a certain extent the precarious and stigmatised labour conditions among those in the global south. But we have found that in China, financial reasons alone were not what pushed migrants to enter the trade. In fact, we have found that waste pickers in Beijing enter the waste business also to experiment with urban citizenship, freedom from the factory regime, entrepreneurship, and household making on the fringe of the nation’s capital. Their strategies of working with waste offer a prism for understanding the wider dimension of social and cultural life in the waste community in a major city of China – what we refer to as “living with waste.” “Living with waste” in this paper is intended as a framework to encompass the everyday effort to work with, experience, and live with waste matter on a daily basis. How do waste pickers talk about their job? Is it just about stigmatisation and suffering? Can it be about business and mobility? How do they feel about raising kids in a waste-collecting courtyard? If dirt is “matter of out of place” (Douglas 1966), how do they deal with impurity and contamination on a daily basis? What kind of efforts do they make to normalise or create boundaries in the undesirable working and living environment? Living with waste, then, is deeply bound with efforts not only to make a livelihood, but also to constantly negotiate one’s position with and draw boundaries from waste within the family and the community, in order to make the job bearable, and even meaningful.
著者Ka-ming Wu, Jieying Zhang
期刊名稱CHINA PERSPECTIVES
出版年份2019
期次2
出版地France
頁次67 - 74
國際標準期刊號1996-4617
電子國際標準期刊號2070-3449
語言美式英語
關鍵詞Waste pickers, waste labour, rural migrants, peri-urban spaces, China

上次更新時間 2021-22-01 於 23:48