Pluto Press Logo

Independent Radical Publishing




On the Blog



A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads

by Caroline Knowles

Series: Anthropology, Culture and Society

By tracing the footprint of a unremarkable object across the globe, this book provides new ways of thinking about globalisation.

*Shortlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed Award for Ethnography 2015*

This book follows the global trail of one of the world's most unremarkable and ubiquitous objects - flip-flops. Through this unique lens, Caroline Knowles takes a ground level view of the lives and places of globalisation's back roads, providing new insights that challenge contemporary accounts of globalisation.

Rather than orderly product chains, the book shows that globalisation along the flip-flop trail is a tangle of unstable, shifting, ad hoc and contingent connections. This book displays both the instabilities of the 'chains' and the complexities, personal topographies and skills with which people navigate these global uncertainties.

Flip-Flop provides new ways of thinking about globalisation from the vantage point of the shifting landscape crossed by a seemingly ordinary and everyday commodity.

Caroline Knowles is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads (Pluto, 2014).

'A journey through globalisation's backroads ... Innovative, insightful, and by turns disturbing and inspiring'

- Professor Craig Calhoun, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science

'If you are invited to Davos, shiny shoes, high heels or ski boots may be in order. For understanding much of the rest of the world, Caroline Knowles shows, you think better with flip-flops'

- Ulf Hannerz, Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Series Preface
1. Navigating the Territories of the Trail
2. Oil – Maps beneath the Sand
3. Choreographies of Petrochemistry
4. Plastic City
5. Plastic Village
6. Making Flip-Flops
7. Logistics, Borderlands and Uncertain Landings
8. Markets
9. Urban Navigation in Flip-Flops
10. Rubbish
11. Globalisation Revisited

Published by Pluto Press in May 2014
Paperback ISBN: 9780745334110
eBook ISBN: 9781783711512

135mm x 215mm