“Garbage Matters”

What I found most interesting about this article were the social implications of trash, what it means to be associated with it, and what it ultimately signifies in today’s society. Moore continually draws on the idea of globalization, and the impact it has had in displacing trash from people themselves, bringing to light issues of power and identity (787). Further, it draws on the idea of “us” and “them”, considering trash as a means of marginalizing certain groups.

Moore continually talks about how adamant we are on a visceral, but also cultural level to remove trash, which has a further social implication of what it means to displace an object. This outlook relies on separating trash from society itself, a direct contradiction to what our society is largely based in – consumerism. Increasing modernization has left us with objects beyond our control (789), but also, to me, introduced an attitude of disposability. Trash isn’t necessarily generated because of something being old or broken, it is as much rooted in (newfound) cultural norms and expectations – I say this in thinking about how people are apt to buy the newest iPhone the day it comes out, even though their existing phone may be in perfect working order. We fetishize objects to an extreme level, but once that object is of no interest, it is deemed trash, and therefore labeled separate.

As a whole, this article made me view garbage in a completely new light, mainly in how connected it is to our society on a global level. Trash is a modern relic, telling a story that uniquely narrates our lives via material means. Moreover, it is a direct reflection of the technological age, drawing on questions that encompass a multitude of disciplines. I look forward to hearing her talk!


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