The Flip-Flop Trail and Fragile Globalisation

Knowles, Caroline. 2015. The Flip-Flop Trail and Fragile Globalisation. Theory Culture and Society, 32(7-8), pp. 231-244. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

Theory Culture Society-2015-Knowles-0263276415576217.pdf

Download (175kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The flip-flop trail is an object biography. It follows the translocal journeys of a pair of plastic sandals, unpacking the lives and landscapes hidden in the plastic. An important shoe-infrastructure enabling human mobility, flip-flops work as an offbeat proxy for globalization too. They proffer empirical footings in translocally-connected worlds in which people and the social textures and terrains of their everyday lives come to the fore, in place of economic processes and commodity chains favoured in hegemonic versions of globalization. These reduce globalization’s complex social forms to the grand narratives of the logics of capital accumulation, implicitly naturalizing it, if critically, as inevitable, entrenched and robust. From the vantage point of the flip- flop trail, globalization looks rather different. It is more fragile and shifting, generating multiple forms of uncertainty in the lives and landscapes it simultaneously sustains and undermines.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:


Fragile, globalisation, landscapes, lives, mobility

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR)



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

03 May 2016 16:49

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:17

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)