Adam Liebman is a Mount Vernon Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Scholar and Instructor of Anthropology at George Washington University. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow with Stanford’s Center for East Asian Studies and received his PhD in sociocultural anthropology at UC Davis. He is currently working on a book manuscript examining waste politics in contemporary China.

Garbage as Value and Sorting as Labour in China’s New Waste Policy

On 1 July 2019, new rules went into effect forcing Shanghai residents and businesses to sort their garbage into four categories (wet, dry, hazardous, and recyclable) under the threat of fines and social credit penalties. An explosion of social media commentary ensued, some supportive but most cynical. The question ‘what kind of garbage are you?’ […]

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