Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads

Knowles, Caroline. 2014. Flip-Flop: A Journey Through Globalisation's Backroads. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 9780745334110 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

This book follows the global trail of one of the world’s most unremarkable and ubiquitous objects – flip-flops – from extraction of raw materials, to manufacture, distribution and consumption. Through this unique lens, Caroline Knowles takes a ground-level view of the lives and places of globalisation’s backroads, providing new insights that challenge contemporary accounts of globalisation. The book shows that globalisation along the flip-flop trail is a tangle of unstable, shifting and contingent connections, rather than an orderly product chain. Knowles examines this instability, exploring the complexities, personal topographies and skills with which people navigate global uncertainties. In doing so, Knowles provides new ways of thinking about globalisation from the vantage point of the shifting landscape crossed by a seemingly ordinary and everyday commodity.

‘Innovative, insightful, and by turns disturbing and inspiring. Caroline Knowles leads a journey through globalisation’s backroads that will inform and engage students and push professors to connect human experience and political economy.’ 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

Item Type:


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR)


May 2014

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Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2014 11:27

Last Modified:

10 Mar 2021 17:02



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