Dirt--and our rituals to eradicate it--are as much a part of our everyday lives as eating, breathing and sleeping. Yet this very fact means that we seldom stop to question what we mean by dirt. What do our attitudes to dirt and cleanliness tell us about ourselves and the societies we live in?
The contributors to this work expose the interests which underlie everyday conceptions of dirt and reveal how our ideas about it are intimately bound up with issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and the body. Exploring a wide variety of settings--domestic, urban and rural--this original work reveals how attitudes to dirt and cleanliness become manifest in surprisingly diverse ways, including the rituals associated with death and burial; interior and architectural design aesthetics; urban infrastructure, regeneration and renewal; film symbolism; and consumer attitudes to food.
A rich and challenging work that extends our understanding of the cultural manifestations of dirt and cleanliness.
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Ben Campkin is Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. With Paul Dobraszczyk he is co-editor of ""Architecture and Dirt,"" a special issue of the Journal of Architecture (2007).
Rosie Cox is Senior Lecturer in London Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of The Servant Problem: Paid Domestic Work in a Global Economy.Review:
""Fascinating""-- Icon Magazine
''...a useful collection of information about the notions of dirt and cleanliness, not only in the city but the spaces it contains and those around it. The wide range of contributions certainly makes the case for the notion of dirt and the abject to be of great relevance to spatial theory ...’’-- Street Signs
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