Slaves to Fashion: Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops / Edition 1

Slaves to Fashion: Poverty and Abuse in the New Sweatshops / Edition 1

by Robert Ross
     
 

ISBN-10: 0472030221

ISBN-13: 9780472030224

Pub. Date: 10/04/2004

Publisher: University of Michigan Press


"A brilliant and beautiful book, the mature work of a lifetime, must reading for students of the globalization debate."
---Tom Hayden

"Slaves to Fashion is a remarkable achievement, several books in one: a gripping history of sweatshops, explaining their decline, fall, and return; a study of how the media portray them; an analysis of the fortunes

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Overview


"A brilliant and beautiful book, the mature work of a lifetime, must reading for students of the globalization debate."
---Tom Hayden

"Slaves to Fashion is a remarkable achievement, several books in one: a gripping history of sweatshops, explaining their decline, fall, and return; a study of how the media portray them; an analysis of the fortunes of the current anti-sweatshop movement; an anatomy of the global traffic in apparel, in particular the South-South competition that sends wages and working conditions plummeting toward the bottom; and not least, a passionate declaration of faith that humanity can find a way to get its work done without sweatshops. This is engaged sociology at its most stimulating."
---Todd Gitlin

". . . unflinchingly portrays the reemergence of the sweatshop in our dog-eat-dog economy."
---Los Angeles Times

Just as Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed uncovered the plight of the working poor in America, Robert J. S. Ross's Slaves to Fashion exposes the dark side of the apparel industry and its exploited workers at home and abroad. It's both a lesson in American business history and a warning about one of the most important issues facing the global capital economy-the reappearance of the sweatshop.

Vividly detailing the decline and tragic rebirth of sweatshop conditions in the American apparel industry of the twentieth century, Ross explains the new sweatshops as a product of unregulated global capitalism and associated deregulation, union erosion, and exploitation of undocumented workers. Using historical material and economic and social data, the author shows that after a brief thirty-five years of fair practices, the U.S. apparel business has once again sunk to shameful abuse and exploitation.

Refreshingly jargon-free but documented in depth, Slaves to Fashion is the only work to estimate the size of the sweatshop problem and to systematically show its impact on apparel workers' wages. It is also unique in its analysis of the budgets and personnel used in enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Anyone who is concerned about this urgent social and economic topic and wants to go beyond the headlines should read this important and timely contribution to the rising debate on low-wage factory labor.

 
Robert J.S. Ross is Professor of Sociology, Clark University. He is an expert in the area of sweatshops and globalization. He is an activist academic who travels and lectures extensively and has published numerous related articles.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780472030224
Publisher:
University of Michigan Press
Publication date:
10/04/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
408
Sales rank:
986,971
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 8.94(h) x 1.04(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : sweatshops are where hearts starve1
Ch. 1What is a sweatshop?9
App. 1Estimating the number of sweatshop workers in the United States in 200042
Ch. 2Memory of strike and fire52
Ch. 3The decline of sweatshops in the United States72
Ch. 4The era of decency and the return of the sweatshop86
Ch. 5Global capitalism and the race to the bottom in the production of our clothes103
Ch. 6Retail chains : the eight-hundred-pound gorillas of the world trade in clothing125
Ch. 7Firing guard dogs and hiring foxes147
Ch. 8Immigrants and imports172
Ch. 9Union busting and the global runaway shop187
Ch. 10Framing immigrants, humiliating big shots : mass media and the sweatshop issue206
App. 2Details of the immigrant blame analysis239
Ch. 11Combating sweatshops from the grass roots249
Ch. 12Solidarity north and south : reframing international labor rights284
Ch. 13Ascending a ladder of effective antisweatshop policy309
Ch. 14Three pillars of decency322
Personal epilogue : hearts starve335

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