This is one of two collections of papers from the British Sociological Association (BSA) annual conference 2003 that we have put together for Sociological Research Online. In developing a title and theme for the 2003 conference we sought to encourage contributors to challenge and engage with contemporary political and media discourses, which since the election of the New Labour government in 1997, had tended to emphasise success, progress and freedom. We invited colleagues to write critical papers that used sociological theory to reflect on real-world problems and issues including the problems of global development, environmental issues, technological change and contemporary cultural experience. We also hoped to stimulate cross-disciplinary debate and wished authors to consider the position and the potential of sociology, in this respect. We devised five conference themes to reflect these interests: Belonging and Isolation; Consumption and Waste; Winners and Losers; Technological Dystopias; Escape Strategies; as well as submissions to the open stream. Over 120 papers were presented at the conference and there were two well attended and livelily debated plenary sessions, one by Beverley Skeggs (then at the University of Manchester) and one by George Ritzer (University of Maryland). Approximately 80 papers presented at the conference were submitted for consideration for publication in this and two other volumes. Two members of the panel read every paper and those presented here are among 19 papers, which were chosen to be included in publications from the conference. The papers were initially selected on the basis of quality and originality but as so papers many achieved the standards we set, we selected those papers which best fitted together and because they represented some of the key issues discussed at the conference. The papers in this collection are from the Consumption and Waste stream.
|Journal||Sociological Research Online|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Jun 2005|