Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are

Lawn People: How Grasses, Weeds, and Chemicals Make Us Who We Are

by Paul Robbins

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For some people, their lawn is a source of pride, and for others, caring for their lawn is a chore. Yet for an increasing number of people, turf care is a cause of ecological anxiety. In Lawn People, author Paul Robbins, asks, "How did the needs of the grass come to be my own?" In his goal to get a clearer picture of why people and grasses do what they do, Robbins interviews homeowners about their lawns, and uses national surveys, analysis from aerial photographs, and economic data to determine what people really feel about-and how they treat-their lawns.

Lawn People places the lawn in its ecological, economic, and social context. Robbins considers the attention we pay our turfgrass-the chemicals we use to grow lawns, the hazards of turf care to our urban ecology, and its potential impact on water quality and household health. He also shows how the ecology of cities creates certain kinds of citizens, deftly contrasting man's control of the lawn with the lawn's control of man.

Lawn People provides an intriguing examination of nature's influence on landscape management and on the ecosystem.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592135806
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication date: 06/20/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Paul Robbins is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Regional Development at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 : Explaining Lawn People
" A Profile of Lawn People
" Interrogating Assumptions in Apolitical Economy
" The Mutual Tyrannies of Urban Political Ecology

Chapter 2 : Is the Lawn an Expression of American Culture?
" The Manor House Tradition: Labor, Land and Grass
" Ecological Imperialism and American Turf
" The American Law Tradition
" Democratic Landscape? The Spread of the Modern Lawn
" Lawn Culture for Lawn Subjects

Chapter 3 : Does the Lawn Necessarily Require Inputs?
" What is Turfgrass and How Does it Grow?
" Turfgrass Structure and Growth
" Why Lawns Need So Much Care?
" The Lawn's needs become those of the Turfgrass Subject

Chapter 4 : Are Lawn Inputs a Hazzard?
" The Dawn and Maturing of Lawn Chemistry
" The Contemporary Chemical Suite
" Lawn Risks Defy Regulation

Chapter 5 : Does the Industry Meet or Produce Demand?
" Demand or Supply?
" The Lawn Commodity Chain
" Producers: Searching for Buyers
" Applicators: Tending the Weed Business

Chapter 6 : Do Lawn People Choose Lawns?
" Chemical Communities
" The Lawns of Kingberry Court
" Risk Citizens, Contradiction Reconcilers, Networked Actors

Chapter 7 : Can Lawn People Choose Alternatives?
" Landscape Alternatives
" Elusiveness of Alternatives
" Are Lawn Alternatives really Alternative?

Chapter 8  : Becoming Turfgrass Subjects
" Anxiety, Objects, Subjects and Political Economy
" Epilogue: Rescuing the Environment from Determinism

Appendix A: Suggestion and Sources for Lawn Alternatives

" Some General Rules
" Resources and Allies
Appendix B: Data Development and Analysis

" The National Homeowner Survey
" The Applicator Survey
" The Kingberry Court Interviews
" The Land Cover Survey
" Current Published Resources


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