Thursday, May 8, 2014

Recent Article "Consumption Conundrum of Bottled Water in India: An STS Perspective" by Aviram Sharma & Saradindu Bhaduri of CSSP

Consumption Conundrum of Bottled Water in India: An STS Perspective
Aviram Sharma and Saradindu Bhaduri
Bulletin of Science Technology & Society, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0270467614532441
Abstract: The rapid growth in consumption of bottled water across the globe has drawn attention of policy makers and academicians alike. However, its consumption practices have been examined primarily in the context of industrialized countries. Drawing on studies of Science, Technology and Society, Public Understanding of Science, and institutions, this article explores the nuances of the consumption conundrum of bottled water in India. This mixed method study relies on data collected through surveys and ethnography of consumption practices at selected sites in Delhi. We find reasons for bottled water consumption to vary with the site of consumption. Although the notions of "purity" and "scarcity" drive consumption behavior, these attributes are far from being objective. Rather, they are shaped by a complex mix of sociocultural factors, public understanding of science, and trust on various institutional mechanisms of water provisioning.

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