Projet de thèse

Cultures of compost. Practices of (re) making soil between city and mountain

Grenoble-Alpes Métropole
Du 01/09/2016 au 31/08/2018

Trois composteurs sur le plateau du Vercors

Today urban composting is promoted by national and international public policies in the wake of the Grenelle de l’environnement. Composting activities are now developed not only in rural areas as part of traditional habits, but also in urban areas and even inside urban flats with the new lombri-composting device (also known as “worm farm”). Those activities are strongly pushed forward by Grenoble Council and the close sub-urbian coucils. The PhD thesis aims to account for the development of composting activities on the basis of an empirical analysis in Grenoble area, and to produce insights into the new practices, devices and affective and ethical meanings associated that might also be helpful for supporting local and national environmental policies in other cities and territories.

The first goal is to document the conditions and effects of the shifting status and representations of composting practices, in order to account for the new ethics and cultures of urban nature. The PhD relies on two hypothesis that will be tested:

  • the development of composting practices in cities needs to be understood not only in terms or rationalization of waste recycling but also in terms of a new relationship to earth and urban soil, seen as a functional, living and three-dimensional material.
  • composting practices do not feature any clear-cut boundary between urban and rural or mountain areas and cultures, but instead to sustaining relationships alongside an urban/ rural continuum.

The PhD will develop a range of sociological and anthropological methods (semi-directed interviews, participant observation, analysis of composting sites’ ambiance and aesthetics).

Submitted by lba_admin on Mon, 21/11/2016 - 12:19