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City Water Matters

Cultures, Practices and Entanglements of Urban Water

Authors: Watson, Sophie

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  • Uses strong ethnographic and historical research to illuminate an important but widely-neglected topic – the role of water in city life
  • Uniquely moves between culturalist, political-economic and materialist approaches to thinking about and with water
  • Provides an especially lively portrait of city waters – revealing its complexity and slipperiness in a concrete manner
  • Carefully considers both the democratic or democratizing potentials and uses of water, as well as to the fraught dilemmas which surround it – including those of climate change and scarcity 
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eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-13-7892-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-13-7891-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Water is one of the most pressing concerns of our time. This book argues for the importance of water as a cultural object, and as a source of complex meanings and practices in everyday life, embedded in the socio-economics of local water provision. Each chapter aims to capture one element of water’s fluid existence in the world, as material object, cultural representation, as movement, as actor, as practice and as ritual. The book explores the interconnectedness of humans and non-humans, of nature and culture, and the complex entanglements of water in all its many forms; how water constitutes multiple differences and is implicated in relations of power, often invisible, but present nevertheless in the workings of daily life in all its rhythms and forms; and water’s capacity to assemble a multiplicity of publics and constitute new socialities and connections. Cities, and their inhabitants, without water will die, and so will their cultures.

About the authors

Sophie Watson is Professor of Sociology at the Open University. She has written extensively on cities, feminist theory, public space, street markets and multicultural differences and politics. Her publications include The New Blackwell Companion to the City (with Gary Bridge) and City Publics: the (dis)enchantments of Urban Encounters.

Reviews

“City Water Matters is a book awash with stories that think with water—hydrating the urban imaginary and dissolving the “human” into liquid assemblages where surprising connections and responsibilities are surfaced. Sophie Watson’s book will make you think twice, and perhaps act differently, as you turn on the tap, clean out the drain, walk along a river or enjoy a public fountain.” (Katherine Gibson, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University)

“This book is an important intervention in how we think about the political, social and ethical imperatives of water’s role in contemporary urban life and a great contribution to academic framing of the liquid city as both socio-technical in its complexities and an active protagonist in transforming the metropolis.” (Professor Michael Keith, Centre on Migration Policy and Society, University of Oxford)

“Thinking about the place of water in cities makes us ask different questions about the nature and quality city life. In this elegant and insightful book Sophie Watson shows us what we learn as a result from the politics of cleanliness to the pleasures of public bathing. A book full of originality and wonder.” (Professor Les Back, Goldsmiths, University of London)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)
  • City Water Matters: Cultures, Practices and Entanglements of Urban Water—An Introduction

    Pages 1-14

    Watson, Sophie

  • Public Water Features: Assembling Publics, Enlivening Spaces, Promoting Regeneration

    Pages 15-41

    Watson, Sophie

  • Consuming Water: Habits, Rituals and State Interventions

    Pages 43-72

    Watson, Sophie

  • River Powers: Assembling Publics, Connections and Materials in a Global City

    Pages 73-104

    Watson, Sophie

  • Embodied Water Entanglements: Sex/Gender, Race/Ethnicity and Class Urban Sanitation Practices

    Pages 105-134

    Watson, Sophie

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-981-13-7892-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-13-7891-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
City Water Matters
Book Subtitle
Cultures, Practices and Entanglements of Urban Water
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-13-7892-8
DOI
10.1007/978-981-13-7892-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-13-7891-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 216
Number of Illustrations
23 b/w illustrations
Topics