Sweated Work, Weak Bodies: Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns and Languages of Labor

Sweated Work, Weak Bodies: Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns and Languages of Labor

by Daniel E. Bender

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In the early 1900s, thousands of immigrants labored in New York's Lower East Side sweatshops, enduring work environments that came to be seen as among the worst examples of Progressive-Era American industrialization. Although reformers agreed that these unsafe workplaces must be abolished, their reasons have seldom been fully examined. Sweated Work, Weak Bodies is the first book on the origins of sweatshops, exploring how they came to represent the dangers of industrialization and the perils of immigration. It is an innovative study of the language used to define the sweatshop, how these definitions shaped the first anti-sweatshop campaign, and how they continue to influence our current understanding of the sweatshop.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813542553
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2004
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 894 KB

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Language and the Limits of Anti-Sweatshop Organizing1
Part IRace, Class, Gender, and Defining the Sweatshop and Modern Shop in Progressive America19
1Eastern European Jews and the Rise of a Transnational Garment Economy23
2"The Great Jewish Metier": Factory Inspectors, Jewish Workers, and Defining the Sweatshop, 1880-191042
3"A Race Ignorant, Miserable, and Immoral": Sweatshop Danger and Labor in the Home, 1890-191061
4Workers Made Well: Home, Work, Homework, and the Model Shop, 1910-193077
Part IIWomen and Gender in the Sweatshop and in the Anti-Sweatshop Campaign101
5Gaunt Men, Gaunt Wives: Femininity, Masculinity, and the Worker Question, 1880-1909105
6Inspecting Bodies: Sexual Difference and Strategies of Organizing, 1910-1930132
7"Swallowed Up in a Sea of Masculinity": Factionalism and Gender Struggles in the ILGWU, 1909-1934155
Conclusion: "Our Marching Orders ... Advance toward the Goal of Industrial Decency": Measuring the Burden of Language181
Epilogue: Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns in a New Century188

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