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Flammable : Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown

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Toxic Ricachuelo river sickens Argentine shantytowns

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Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. How do poor people make sense of and cope with toxic pollution?

Why do they fail to understand what is objectively a clear and present danger? How are perceptions and misperceptions shared within a community? Based on archival research and two and a half years of collaborative ethnographic fieldwork in Flammable, this book examines the lived experiences of environmental suffering.

A Sociology of Exposure and Denial

Despite clear evidence to the contrary, residents allow themselves to doubt or even deny the hard facts of industrial pollution. This happens, the authors argue, through a "labor of confusion" enabled by state officials who frequently raise the issue of relocation and just as frequently suspend it; by the companies who fund local health care but assert that the area is unfit for human residence; by doctors who say the illnesses are no different from anywhere else but tell mothers they must leave the neighborhood if their families are to be cured; by journalists who randomly appear and focus on the most extreme aspects of life there; and by lawyers who encourage residents to hold out for a settlement.

These contradictory actions, advice, and information work together to shape the confused experience of living in danger and ultimately translates into a long, ineffective, and uncertain waiting time, a time dictated by powerful interests and shared by all marginalized groups. With luminous and vivid descriptions of everyday life in the neighborhood, Auyero and Swistun depict this on-going slow motion human and environmental disaster and dissect the manifold ways in which it is experienced by Flammable residents.

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  • Book Review: Flammable-Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown | Color Me Adri.
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Document information Title:. Table of contents — Volume 39, Issue 5 Show all volumes and issues Tables of content are generated automatically and are based on records of articles contained that are available in the TIB-Portal index.

Débora Swistun | Universidad Nacional de Avellaneda - vumyvivyfo.tk

Anthony J. Bebbington, et al.


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Dani and Arjan de Haan eds.