Sociology Gold: The sociology research of Goldsmiths, University of London

Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads (2013)

Caroline Knowles

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.

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