Value of Rubbish

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In this essay I shall portray my arguments of how in today´s society rubbish can be seen as having value or as valueless weather through economical means or material means and also how we value such items. With the rise in affluence, material goods are no longer simply about meeting basic needs. We now define ourselves much more by the goods we buy and choose (Hinchliffe, 2009, p.23). It helps us create our identities and status, and have become a form of socialization and self-expression. Consumption, value and use all play key role in the way we look at “ rubbish”. Rubbish and waste can play either a positive or a negative effect on our environment.

Rubbish is often perceived to be worthless, however this definition can be misleading as its meaning can alter to temporal change in social attitude resulting in its revaluation. Yet value, like rubbish is an ambiguous term since, it too, is subject to the same social processes that can modify its meaning. The relationship between rubbish and value is dynamic and complex. Rubbish is commonly defined as a thing that has no worth, it is what nobody wants, and it is disvalued, so it is worthless and has zero value. This seems straight forward, but “ value” is a complex term. Items do not have value by virtue of their physical properties. Items have value because people value them. (Brown, 2009, p.105,).Value as universal perception can have different senses “intrinsic value” “ economic value” “ use value”, all these help us categorize what we see before us. Thompson highlights that there are three categories that determine how objects pass into and out of the category rubbish. Objects that are produced for ordinary use, a ´rubbish ´ category whose value increases over time. Thompson argues that products are produced for either mass consumption or elite consumption. Thompson is interested in the way items move from the transient category into the durable category.

Using Thompson´s theory for,...
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