VariaBy Linda Gonzalez-Lafaysse
This paper explores the question of identity and recognition at work in the little-known profession of the industrial waste sorter. Based on interviews with staff at a waste-sorting center in France’s Gironde region, I will bring to light the activity’s identification with environmental objectives in spite of the paradoxes of the circular economy. What emerges is a discourse that legitimizes the activity and gives it meaning, as well as a specific professional culture. In this context, identity is underpinned by team spirit, which mitigates the difficult working conditions.