Plastic Water: The Social And Material Life Of Bottled Water by Gay HawkinsPlastic Water: The Social And Material Life Of Bottled Water by Gay Hawkins

Plastic Water: The Social And Material Life Of Bottled Water

byGay Hawkins, Emily Potter, Kane Race

Hardcover | August 21, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 195 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Out of stock online

Not available in stores


How and why branded bottles of water have insinuated themselves into our daily lives, and what the implications are for safe urban water supplies.

How did branded bottles of water insinuate themselves into our daily lives? Why did water become an economic good-no longer a common resource but a commercial product, in industry parlance a "fast moving consumer good," or FMCG? Plastic Water examines the processes behind this transformation. It goes beyond the usual political and environmental critiques of bottled water to investigate its multiplicity, examining a bottle of water's simultaneous existence as, among other things, a product, personal health resource, object of boycotts, and part of accumulating waste matter. Throughout, the book focuses on the ontological dimensions of drinking bottled water-the ways in which this habit enacts new relations and meanings that may interfere with other drinking water practices.

The book considers the assemblage and emergence of a mass market for water, from the invention of the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle in 1973 to the development of "hydration science" that accompanied the rise of jogging in the United States. It looks at what bottles do in the world, tracing drinking and disposal practices in three Asian cities with unreliable access to safe water: Bangkok, Chennai, and Hanoi. And it considers the possibility of ethical drinking, examining campaigns to "say no" to the bottle and promote the consumption of tap water in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

Gay Hawkins is Research Professor in the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Western Sydney. Emily Potter is Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Australia. Kane Race is Associate Professor in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney.
Title:Plastic Water: The Social And Material Life Of Bottled WaterFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.94 inPublished:August 21, 2015Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262029413

ISBN - 13:9780262029414


Editorial Reviews

By showing how various packaging innovations manage to reorient new flows of water and issues, Plastic Water deeply renews our understanding of markets and politics: the authors' fascinating study of the worldwide dynamics of bottled water brilliantly evidences that some of the most serious concerns rest less on classic institutional and ideological games than on the mundane material life where they take their source. As such, this book is one of the most welcome contributions to contemporary economic sociology.-Franck Cochoy, Professor of Sociology, University Toulouse Jean-Jaurès/CERTOP, France