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Dirt: New Geographies of Cleanliness and Contamination

Dirt: New Geographies of Cleanliness and Contamination

Edited by: Ben Campkin, Rosie Cox

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Dirt - and our rituals to eradicate it - is as much a part of our everyday lives as eating, breathing and sleeping. Yet this very fact means that we seldom stop to question what we mean by dirt. What do our attitudes to dirt and cleanliness tell us about ourselves and the societies we live in? Exploring a wide variety of settings - domestic, urban, suburban and rural - the contributors expose how our ideas about dirt are intimately bound up with issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and the body. The result is a a rich and challenging work that extends our understanding of historical and contemporary cultural manifestations of dirt and cleanliness.

Table of Contents


Materialities and Metaphors of Dirt and Cleanliness | Ben Campkin and Rosie Cox

Section 1 | Home: Domestic Dirt and Cleaning

Linguistic Leakiness or Really Dirty? Dirt in Social Theory | Carol Wolkowitz

Domestic Workers and Pollution in Brazil | Lívia Barbosa

The Visible and the Invisible: (De)regulation in Contemporary Cleaning Practices | Lydia Martens

Bring Home the Dead: Purity and Filth in Contemporary Funeral Homes | Kyro Selket

Section 2 City and Suburb: Urban Dirt and Cleansing

Degradation and Regeneration: Theories of Dirt and the Contemporary City | Ben Campkin

From the Dirty City to the Spoiled Suburb | Paul Watt

Dangers Lurking Everywhere: The Sex Offender as Pollution | Pamela K. Gilbert

Hygiene Aesthetics on London’s Gay Scene: The Stigma of AIDS | Johan Andersson

Spiritual Cleansing: Priests and Prostitutes in Early Victorian London | Dominic Janes

Mapping Sewer Spaces in mid-Victorian London | Paul Dobraszczyk

The Cinematic Sewer | David L. Pike

Section 3 Country: Constructing Rural Dirt

Dirt and Development: Alternative Modernities in Thailand | Alyson Brody

Dirty Foods, Healthy Communities? | Gareth Enticott

Dirty Vegetables: Connecting Consumers to the Growing of their Food | Lewis Holloway, Laura Venn, Rosie Cox, Moya Kneafsey, Elizabeth Dowler, Helena Tuomainen

Dirty Cows: Perceptions of BSE/vCJD | Bruce A. Scholten

Author Info

Ben Campkin is Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He is co-editor of 'Architecture and Dirt’, a special issue of The Journal of Architecture (2007).

Rosie Cox is Senior Lecturer in London Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of The Servant Problem: Paid Domestic Work in a Global Economy (I.B. Tauris, 2006).

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd

ISBN: 9781780764177
Publication Date: 18 Dec 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: 20 integrated b/w, 1 table

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