The Discard Studies Blog is an online hub for critical studies of waste and pollution. As an emerging field, discard Studies is united by a critical framework that questions premises of what seems normal or given in waste. It analyzes the wider role of society and culture, including social norms, economic systems, forms of labor, ideology, infrastructure and power in definitions of, attitudes toward, behaviors around, and materialities of waste, broadly defined. As its starting point, critical Discard Studies holds that waste is not produced by individuals and is not automatically disgusting, harmful, or morally offensive, but that both the materials of discards and their meanings are part of wider sociocultural-economic systems. Our task is to interrogate these systems for how waste comes to be, and our work is often to offer critical alternatives to popular and normative notions of waste.
The blog is written and maintained by Max Liboiron.
Title image by Rachel Schragis for Liboiron, Max. (2012). “Tactics of Waste, Dirt and Discard in the Occupy Movement,” Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, Routledge.