Worlding Electronic Waste

Chapter 1 | Introduction

Chapter 1 introduces the overall arguments of the book and provides an outline of each chapter. A key message developed in this chapter and elsewhere in the book is that waste arises ubiquitously, but unevenly at all points in the existence of electronics, not just if and when they are discarded. Noting this point, the chapter introduces one of the key analytical concepts used throughout the text: the notion of defamiliarization. If the ubiquitous but uneven occurrence of waste from electronics are to be dealt with, I argue we must make strange again (that is, defamiliarize ourselves) with what both electronic waste (e-waste) specifically and waste more generally are.

In the opening pages of the introduction I begin the process of defamiliarization by both historicizing and spatializing what is typically understood as the story of electronic waste.


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