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Title: A multi-sited analysis of rules and regulations in the recycling market from Ankara to London
Author: Dinler, Demet Şahende
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 966X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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The wage of an urban waste picker who collects scrap metal, waste paper and plastic in the street and sells it to recycling factories in the city of Ankara in Turkey and the profit, which those factories make, depend on the global market. Those local actors experience the recycling market as a fetishised, impersonal, abstract entity against which they feel powerless. By following the journey of recyclable commodities across streets, warehouses in urban slums, recycling factories in Turkey and at the London Metal Exchange (LME) in the UK, where metal prices are determined, the dissertation attempts at showing how this entity which looks independent is actually made real by rules and regulations enacted by market participants and institutions. Engaging with an inter-disciplinary literature on markets and relying on ethnographic methods, interviews and archival research in Turkey and the UK, the dissertation offers an in-depth analysis of how those rules and regulations emerge, develop, become constitutive components of the market and change over time: customary arrangements by workers to regulate labour relations in the streets; solidarity networks to cushion the negative effects of the market; kinship relations to regulate the economy of the informal recycling warehouses; laws and bylaws by state institutions to transform the recycling market; relations of trust and gift to organise trading practices at recycling factories and finally rules of price discovery and regulations to avoid market abuses in the global exchange. According to the thesis, since the market operates as an 'imperative' in capitalist society, by compelling actors to develop strategies to survive, compete and accumulate, those rules and regulations may activate or help actors to cope with the market imperative. Conflicts between different social classes and institutions make such rules and regulations terrains of struggle and negotiation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral