1932

Abstract

While the proliferation of industrial toxic substances over the past century has had drastic environmental and bodily effects, conventional methods of measuring and mitigating those effects continue to produce uncertainty. The project of living in a toxic world entails ethical, technical, and aesthetic efforts to understand toxicity as a contingent encounter among beings, systems, and things, rather than as a fundamental characteristic of particular substances. Anthropologists do not just observe such encounters; they live and work within them. This review examines recent anthropological research on toxicity, proposing that responses to toxic disaster and occupational exposure, as well as acts of familial, state, or corporate care, are all modes of “toxic worlding.” The review concludes with a summary of recent research in collaborative and engaged anthropology, suggesting that such approaches are essential not so much for purifying or detoxifying the world as for making it otherwise.

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2020-10-21
2024-06-17
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