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Waste and Wealth: Gendered Labor, Value and Morality in a Vietnamese Migrant Recycling Economy

Minh Nguyen, Universität Bielefeld

Waste and Wealth is a book in the Oxford University Press series ISSUES OF GLOBALIZATION: CASE STUDIES IN CONTEMPORARY ANTHROPOLOGY, which examines the experiences of individual communities in our contemporary world. Each volume offers a brief and engaging exploration of a particular issue arising from globalization and its cultural, political, and economic effects on certain peoples or groups. Waste and Wealth examines questions of value, labor, and morality underlining the translocal waste trading networks originating from a rural district in Vietnam. Considering waste as an economic category of global significance, this book shows migrant laborers' complex negotiations with political economic forces to remake their social and moral lives. It also illuminates how the waste traders seek to construct viable identities in the face of stigmatization, insecurity, and precarity. It demonstrates how the forces of globalization blend with local historical-cultural dynamics to shape the valuation of people and things. 

This lecture will focus on the gendered processes of labour mobility and value creation, suggesting the different ways in which men and women partake and are positioned in these processes.


June 26, 2019


Global South Studies Center
R. 3.03 (third floor)
50931 Köln