From primitive accumulation to modernized poverty: examining flush toilets through the four invaluation processes

A.A. Dunlap

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the normalized power and social effects of flush-toilets. Beginning by laying a theoretical foundation with the concepts of structural violence, primitive accumulation, and modernized poverty, the section continues by outlining William Dugger’s four invaluation processes as a framework of approach. Then, a brief history of flush-toilets is sketched before applying the four invaluation processes: contamination, subordination, emulation, and mystification. Flush-toilets are a complex infrasystem that appear to have a surreptitious organizational, social, and ecological effect that is compounded by some of the formulations and practices within the development industry. Notably with the United Nation “sanitation ladder,” Gary White and Matt Damon’s NGO Water.org and Damon’s subsequent “toilet strike.” Providing a reassessment of the social power inherent in flush-toilets, this paper contends that the flush-toilet infrasystem is an accomplice in infrastructural violence and can also be seen as aiding a strategy of primitive accumulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalForum of Social Economics
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2017

Keywords

  • Four invaluation processes
  • Infrastructrual Violence
  • Modernized Poverty
  • Primitive Accumulation
  • flush-toilets

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