Dirt - and our rituals to eradicate it - is as much a part of our everyday lives as eating, breathing and sleeping. Yet this very fact means that we seldom stop to question what we mean by dirt. What do our attitudes to dirt and cleanliness tell us about ourselves and the societies we live in? Exploring a wide variety of settings - domestic, urban, suburban and rural - the contributors expose how our ideas about dirt are intimately bound up with issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and the body. The result is a a rich and challenging work that extends our understanding of historical and contemporary cultural manifestations of dirt and cleanliness.
Ben Campkin is Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory and Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He is the author of London's Urban Landscape (I.B.Tauris, forthcoming). Rosie Cox is Senior Lecturer in Geography and Gender Studies in the Department of Geography, Environment & Development, Birkbeck, London University. She is the author of Reconnecting Consumers, Producers and Food and The Servant Problem (I.B.Tauris, 2006)