217 pages, no illustrations, tables
Around the world, asbestos-related diseases are on the increase. Meanwhile, in many newly-industrialising and developing countries, asbestos use continues unabated. This book, based on anthropological fieldwork in the UK, India and South Africa, explores people's understandings of their illness, risk, compensation and regulation, contrasting these personal and community narratives with formal medical and legal understandings. Linda Waldman shows how the domination of medical and legal framings of risk and disease over those of workers, sufferers and activists can narrow the responses chosen by government. This provides important lessons for researchers, policy makers and regulators, demonstrating that opening up to alternative understandings can create more effective policy responses to move towards sustainability and social justice. This title is published in association with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Combining anthropology with science and technology studies, and providing case studies from India, South Africa and the UK, 'The Politics of Asbestos' is passionately written, theoretically engaged and empirically rich. It deserves to be widely read.
- Peter Newell, Professor of International Development, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
"Writing in a clear and simple style, Linda Waldman sets out a fascinating narrative spanning three continents."
- Usha Ramanathan, Independent law researcher, Delhi, India
"This engrossing book interweaves the global politics of science with the intimacies of identity and provides an innovative methodological model for exploring comparative case studies at a large scale."
- Fiona Ross, Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
"Through the different case studies, Linda Waldman draws out the intersecting, and at times, conflicting ways in which asbestos destroys, disempowers, galvanises, mobilises and even empowers people in pursuit of social justice, compensation and benefits."
- Dinah Rajak, Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
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