Yun-An Olivia Dung

dungOlivia Yun-An Dung obtained her Bachelor degree in Sociology at National Taipei University, Taiwan in 2010 and later on received her Research Master diploma in Sociology of Culture, Media and Arts, in the Faculty of Social Science (FSW) at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2012. The fields of her research interests include: media studies, cultural sociology, sociology of romantic love, and waste and recycling.

Olivia Dung’s research examines and compares the practices and discourses of recycling among various stakeholders participating in the national recycling system in Taiwan. Current Taiwanese recycling system is a consequence of the economic intervention by state officials in the 1990s when the nation lacked landfill space and incineration capacity for waste disposal. Building upon pre-existing traditions of scrap collection, a regulated commodity chain was formed by the amalgamation of governmental administrations and market operations while citizens, citizen groups, and private organisations are included to constitute a national recycling network.

By looking how different stakeholders interact with and through waste – ranging from government, a variety of recycling businesses, households, and community associations to a Buddhist organization, the research first will illustrate the recognition and classification of what is the waste and what is not, are bound and defined by certain social contexts and systems. Secondly, by examining the ways recycling is represented and the ways associated members are motivated to engage in recycling, the study will unfold the underlying social functions, political goals, cultural values and market mechanisms in Taiwan’s recycling.