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‘Consumption work’ and systems of provision: practices of recycling in England and Sweden Miriam Glucksmann and Katy Wheeler SPRG Workshop, Essex, January.

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Presentation on theme: "‘Consumption work’ and systems of provision: practices of recycling in England and Sweden Miriam Glucksmann and Katy Wheeler SPRG Workshop, Essex, January."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘Consumption work’ and systems of provision: practices of recycling in England and Sweden Miriam Glucksmann and Katy Wheeler SPRG Workshop, Essex, January 2012

2 European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant Research Programme: Consumption Work and Societal Divisions of Labour

3 Objectives Renew/reconceptualise ‘division of labour’ Elaborate Socio-economic formations of labour Bring work of consumers into framework Use consumption work as entry route Develop novel empirical domain

4 Technical Division of Labour Modal Total Social Organisation of Labour Economic Processual Instituted Economic Process of Labour Socio-Economic Formations of Labour Dimensions of differentiation and integration of labour

5 Technical Division of Labour = DL Total Social Organisation of Labour = Modal Instituted Economic Process of Labour = Economic Processual

6 Dimension 1. Division of labour Classical conception – Smith, Marx, Durkheim, Braverman etc Technical division of tasks and skills → fragmentation + specialisation Hierarchy of jobs, rewards Complementarity of occupations Allocation to different kinds of people – on the basis of gender, ethnicity, nationality etc

7 Dimension 2 ‘Modal’ ‘total social organisation of labour’ labour undertaken on different socio-economic bases market; state; household; not-for-profit sector; community; voluntary paid/unpaid; formal/informal hybrids interactions between modes Field of activity Scale: micro, meso, macro, national

8 Dimension 3. Instituted Economic Processes of Labour adds work into Polanyian IEP approach connections between labour across all stages of a process production, distribution, exchange, consumption + marketing, advertising and other intermediary processes NB. includes work of consumers → ‘consumption work’ Innovations/change in one phase have knock-on effects for others e.g. Ikea-isation

9 Technical Division of Labour Modal Total Social Organisation of Labour Economic Processual Instituted Economic Process of Labour Socio-Economic Formations of Labour Dimensions of differentiation and integration of labour

10 ‘consumption work’, all work necessary for the purchase, use, re-use and disposal of consumption goods and services.

11 Research question how and why consumption work varies in different countries and fields of activity, and what it is shaped by? Three case studies selected for the range of questions each raises about consumption work and its increasing socio-economic importance: 1) domestic broadband installation 2) food preparation 3) household recycling of waste

12 Household recycling of waste -a distinctive way of dealing with a perennial issue - historically unprecedented levels of domestic waste have led to concerted government strategies for its disposal, including household recycling. -Recycling, as a form of 'post-consumption' work, problematises in a different way the relation between work and consumption -Relation between moral economy and political or market economy -England and Sweden

13 Methods 30 Interviews with waste ‘experts’ – 12 in Sweden – 18 in England Selection of 5 Local Authority/Municipal areas – Lund and Stockholm (Sweden) – Essex, Shropshire and Lewisham (England) Site visits to recycling and waste treatment facilities Still to do: Household study

14 Dimensions of comparison 1.The key actors and institutions providing waste management services 2.The role of the public and private sectors 3.Variations in the collection systems between and within the countries 4.The degree to which recycling waste is separate from other household waste 5.The technologies employed to deal with waste 6.Strategies for mobilising consumers to recycle

15 Citizen- Consumer Sort Transport FTI Recycling station Swedish System Producers, members of FTI Municipal recycling centre

16 The producers’ system

17 The municipality’s system

18 Citizen- Consumer Don’t sort Sort Re- processing Transport FTI Recycling station Municipal recycling centre Municipal Disposal - Incineration Swedish System Private WMC collection but material owned by FTI Private WMC/ Municipality Producers, members of FTI

19 Dimensions of ComparisonSwedenEngland The key actors and institutions providing waste management services FTI, municipalities, private waste management companies, consumer The role of the public and private sectors Public sector dominance Variations in the collection systems between and within the countries One system common across Sweden The degree to which recycling waste is separate from other household waste Recyclable packaging/ newspaper operates in a separate system to the general waste The technologies employed to deal with waste Incineration, limited technological after-sorting Strategies for mobilising consumers to recycle Consumer mobilised to recycle for the environment, education aimed at children, no personalised feedback to individual households.

20 Citizen- Consumer Don’t sort Sort Source separation Re- processing Private WMC Disposal - landfill English System Private WMC/ Municipality Producers

21 Source separation

22 Citizen- Consumer Don’t sort Sort Source separation Twin- stream Commingled Private WMC MRF Re- processing Private WMC Disposal - landfill English System Private WMC/ Municipality Producers

23 MRFs Some councils offer a source segregated system which works very well and where the householders are willing to bear that labour and put their bottle out here, their can out there, their piece of plastic out there and tear off different bits of materials which are all ingrained within the same product, clear out bits of food from each, and where they’re willing to do that and willing to bear that labour, it’s very good to get them to do it, they don’t normally charge for it. But in other places, the classics being high-rise flats in inner-city locations where people are very busy, people don’t have time or the inclination to do it. Commingled systems make things much easier for the household and there the division of labour shifts to the technology, it shifts to the industry - to say we’re going to do less at this end, so you need to do more. The labour just shifts down the supply chain.

24 Dimensions of ComparisonSwedenEngland The key actors and institutions providing waste management services FTI, municipalities, private waste management companies, consumer Local authorities, private waste management companies, consumer The role of the public and private sectors Public sector dominancePrivate sector dominance Variations in the collection systems between and within the countries One system common across Sweden Much variation between and within local authority collection systems The degree to which recycling waste is separate from other household waste Recyclable packaging/ newspaper managed in a separate system to general household waste Recyclable waste managed through the same system as general household waste The technologies employed to deal with waste Incineration, limited technological after-sorting Landfill, MRFs (technological after-sorting) Strategies for mobilising consumers to recycle Consumer mobilised to recycle for the environment; education aimed at children; no personalised feedback to individual households. Consumers encouraged to recycle to save public money and for the environment; targeted feedback to individual households

25 Recycling research so far reveals: Complex technical division of labour: many tasks and skills and local and global reach

26

27 Recycling research so far reveals: Complex technical division of labour: many tasks and skills and local and global reach Relies on work undertaken in a variety of socio-economic modes: paid/unpaid, public sector/private market, not/for profit Work performed at any one stage in process presupposes the others

28 Waste treatment Sweden (09)Waste treatment England (09/10) Why Sweden and England?


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