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Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (Nyu Series in Social and Cultural Analysis) Paperback – November 17, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Nyu Series in Social and Cultural Analysis
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (November 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814795897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814795897
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Who could have imagined? A book that weaves cutting edge gender theory into urban planning policy by way of the lowly toilet? A wondrous compendium.”

-Jane Mansbridge,Adams Professor in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

“Peeing is political. The authors of Toilet show us how. In provocative essays from a range of perspectives, we learn what toilets (and their lack) teach us—about hierarchy, inequality, the body, aesthetics and politics. Using toilets as social and cultural prisms, they analyze global collective (in)action, outlining the deeply personal consequences for us all. This is wickedly smart, pointed and passionate public interest scholarship at its best..”

-Lisa Duggan,author of Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy

“When Molotch and Norén let slip a few “pissings” or “pees,” the book becomes livelier, as is befitting of the subject. And the inclusion of essays from scholars of many different disciplines—gender studies, disability rights, architecture—makes this a toilet book not to be missed.”

-Book Bench, The New Yorker Blog ,

“We may not feel comfortable discussing them, but questions of where and how we do our business, particularly in public, have a tremendous impact on our everyday lives. That’s why Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing, a new collection of academic essays, is so necessary.”,

Toilet opens the door to a profound and fascinating understanding of the way we use and are abused by public conveniences.”

-Howard S. Becker,author of Outsiders: Studies In The Sociology Of Deviance

About the Author

Harvey Molotch is Professor of Sociology and Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. His books include Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place (with John Logan, California 2007) and Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be as They Are (Routledge 2005), winner of the Eastern Sociological Association’s Best Book Award.

Laura Norén is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at New York University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Evan the Dweezil on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
Why are the lines to the women's restroom so long? How come there are fewer public restroom in parks these days? Why are the partitions between toilet stalls so high of the ground your two-year-old child can crawl off to the hand dryers and out the door before you can chase her down?

Toilet looks into the history and culture behind public toilets, who uses them for what, and so much more in this compilation of papers. Most of the papers are well written and easily understandable for the average reader. Go ahead, answer the questions you've always had about one of the places people are least likely to talk about.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this anthology. It is an excellent intro into the fledgling field of bathroom politics, and will have you reevaluating what you think you know about social norms, have you asking questions, and most of all keep you interested.

I recommend this book to friends, and now to amazon shoppers. Enjoy!
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