Goeun Lee is a PhD candidate of anthropology at the University of Kentucky. She is currently working on her dissertation research project on waste management infrastructure in contemporary Shanghai, focussing on gender and the Chinese state.

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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