Students against Sweatshops: The Making of a Movement

Overview

United Students Against Sweatshops heads a wave of anti-sweatshop organizing that has reached over two hundred American college campuses in the past four years. From the northeast to the southwest, at public and private, large and small universities, their campaigns have wreaked havoc on the corporate campus and ruffled multinational companies whose profits depend on young consumers; they have also led to a more broadly based engagement with issues of social justice and provide a potential model for transnational...
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Overview

United Students Against Sweatshops heads a wave of anti-sweatshop organizing that has reached over two hundred American college campuses in the past four years. From the northeast to the southwest, at public and private, large and small universities, their campaigns have wreaked havoc on the corporate campus and ruffled multinational companies whose profits depend on young consumers; they have also led to a more broadly based engagement with issues of social justice and provide a potential model for transnational student/worker solidarity.
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Editorial Reviews

Tom Hayden
“An inspiring story of how students are making history today.”
Andrew Ross
“As vividly as any documentary film, Liza Featherstone captures the gusto and political savvy of a student movement that has made its impact in every corner of the global economy. Nor does this indispensable book pull any punches; its bold commentary will hit home where it needs to be heard.”
Sheri Davis
“Everybody wants to have a living wage. Everybody wants to be able to take care fo themselves and their family. Everybody wants to retire and feel good, enjoy life. Breathe. Live. Eat.”
Jim Hightower
“Here are the inspiring voiced of our democracy – young people daring to question authority and confront power. These are the Thomas Paines, Sojourner Truths, Frederick Douglasses, and Mother Joneses of our times. America needs them more than ever.”
Katha Pollitt
“Campus activism lives! This inspiring and lucid account of the work of United Students Against Sweatshops proves it. Blending commitment and analysis, Featherstone tells us why USAS is about much more than caps and tee shirts – it's about workers' rights, women's rights, challenging the corporatization of the university, and establishing a fair world order.”
From the Publisher
“An inspiring story of how students are making history today.”—Tom Hayden

“As vividly as any documentary film, Liza Featherstone captures the gusto and political savvy of a student movement that has made its impact in every corner of the global economy. Nor does this indispensable book pull any punches; its bold commentary will hit home where it needs to be heard.”—Andrew Ross

“Everybody wants to have a living wage. Everybody wants to be able to take care fo themselves and their family. Everybody wants to retire and feel good, enjoy life. Breathe. Live. Eat.”—Sheri Davis

“Here are the inspiring voiced of our democracy—young people daring to question authority and confront power. These are the Thomas Paines, Sojourner Truths, Frederick Douglasses, and Mother Joneses of our times. America needs them more than ever.”—Jim Hightower

“Campus activism lives! This inspiring and lucid account of the work of United Students Against Sweatshops proves it. Blending commitment and analysis, Featherstone tells us why USAS is about much more than caps and tee shirts—it’s about workers’ rights, women’s rights, challenging the corporatization of the university, and establishing a fair world order.”—Katha Pollitt

Tom Hayden
[A]n inspiring story of how students are making history today.
Andrew Ross
As vividly as any documentary film...captures the gusto and political savvy of a student movement.
Nation
Campus activism lives! This inspiring and lucid account of the work of United Students against Sweatshops proves it.
Jim Hightower
Here are the inspiring voices of our democracy—young people daring to question authority and confront power.
KLIATT
USAS (United Students Against Sweatshops) has been active on many college campuses across the country for the past four years. Their main targets are the Third World factories where employees make college logo clothing under poor living and working conditions. USAS organizes sit-ins and even hunger strikes to make their cause better known. The students want to improve social protections all over the world and to make us aware of those living standards. The movement has slowed down a little because of September 11 and the global economic slowdown, as well as worry about terrorism, but the students vow to fight on. Appendices include a timeline and a listing of colleges where USAS is active. Category: Current Topics. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Verso, 120p. illus. bibliog., , Stow, OH
Library Journal
New York City journalist Featherstone and the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) have collaborated to write a brief history of university student anti-sweatshop activism and the role of USAS. The organization began in spring 1998 as a coalition of student groups "fighting for sweatshop-free working conditions and workers' rights." USAS now has over 200 chapters on university campuses throughout the world working to ensure that clothing bearing university logos is produced by companies offering a living wage and fair working conditions in their factories. This book includes a time line, a listing of university chapters, and notes on contributors. Each chapter contains vignettes by student USAS members and some factory workers offering a personal look into working conditions and the group's campaigns. Because it is written strictly from the USAS viewpoint, this book is limited in its ability to offer a larger treatment of the world problem of garment factory sweatshops conditions and workers' rights. Academic libraries having a USAS chapter could consider purchasing, while other libraries may want to wait for a more rounded approach to this topic. Joyce M. Cox, Nevada State Lib. & Archives, Reno Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859843024
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Pages: 130
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Meet the Author

United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) is a student organization with chapters at over 250 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

Liza Featherstone is a New York City journalist who has written extensively about student and youth organizing. She is a frequent contributor to The Nation, Newsday and The Washington Post.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction: Why a student movement against sweatshops? 1
1 "They kick you in the teeth": anti-sweat activism, 1996-97 7
2 "I'd rather go naked": student protest and the worker rights consortium 19
3 Student activists versus the corporate university 28
4 "Afraid of the movement": the backlash 40
5 "It's just like SDS!" USAS and participatory democracy 52
6 "Not so cute any more": USAS and the politics of race 62
7 "Where's your activism?" USAS and feminism 68
8 "Si, se puede!" USAS and solidarity 80
9 Beyond the horror stories: fighting everyday inequality 92
Coda 102
Timeline 106
Sources 110
United Students Against Sweatshops 114
Acknowledgements 116
Notes on contributors 117
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