Around the world, asbestos-related diseases are on the increase. Meanwhile, in many newly-industrializing and developing countries, asbestos use continues unabated. This book, based on anthropological fieldwork in the UK, India and South Africa, explores people's understandings of their illness, risk, compensation and regulation, contrasting these personal and community narratives with formal medical and legal understandings.
Linda Waldman shows how the domination of medical and legal framings of risk and disease over those of workers, sufferers and activists can narrow the responses chosen by government. This provides important lessons for researchers, policy makers and regulators, demonstrating that opening up to alternative understandings can create more effective policy responses to move towards sustainability and social justice.
Published in association with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Linda Waldman is a Research Fellow in the Knowledge, Technology and Society Team at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex University. She is a social anthropologist whose research areas include indigenous identity and nationalism, environmental pollution, and asbestos disease and its socio-cultural ramifications.
1. Introduction: The Problem of Asbestos 2. 'I've Got the Dust As Well': Asbestos Litigation, Pleural Plaques and Masculinity in the UK 3. Evaluating Science and Risk: Living with and Dying from Asbestos in South Africa 4. 'Show me the Evidence': Science and Risk in Indian Asbestos Issues 5. 'Through no Fault of Our Own': Asbestos Diseases in South Africa and the UK 6. Re-framing Risk: Comparative Framings of Asbestos and Disease 7. Conclusion: Diseased Identities and Social Justice