Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home Water and Africa Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:An index of waste: humanitarian design, 'dignified living' and the politics of infrastructure in Cape Town
Authors:Redfield, PeterISNI
Robins, StevenISNI
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 2332-3264)
Geographic term:South Africa
bodily wastes
social status
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/23323256.2016.1172942
Abstract:This article develops a framework for thinking about waste as an index that signals a relational position within contested, historically layered conceptions of human order. It follows two contrasting frameworks for thinking about sanitation infrastructure: a quest to redesign the toilet at a global level for underserved populations, and popular conceptions of rights, citizenship and dignity grounded in the materiality of infrastructure in post-apartheid South Africa. By integrating highly abstract understandings of value with intimately embodied qualities of experience, the problem of sanitation simultaneously connects and divides human populations. It unites them at a species level, only to distinguish them at a social one. From this perspective, human waste is hardly a neutral substance, defined by its chemical properties. Rather, waste actively registers relational human status and position within a political ecology of needs. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]