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Global Inequality and New Social Movements 111 SPR14

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Julie Jenkins

on 28 April 2016

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Transcript of Global Inequality and New Social Movements 111 SPR14

Global Inequality and New Social Movements
What experiences do the Maquiladoras have in the Free Trade Zones? How do they challenge their working conditions?
Which best explains these conditions- functionalist or conflict theories of inequality?
--Functionalist: inequality functions to motivate people to work hard and take on challenging roles
--Conflict: inequality serves those that own the means of production, technology, media, etc (exploitation manifests itself via profits)
Path for International Development?

-wealth generated from labor in multiple countries flows back to 'home' country
Nike- 1990s
-Factories in China & Indonesia
-75% Female Workers or Children
-10-13 hour days
-Forced Overtime
-Wages less than needed for subsistence for ONE
--Indonesian workers- 14 cents/hour
Protest Movements
- based on idea that MNC Abuses are Human Rights Abuses
Nike Protests
-Protests organized and negative media generated
CEO Phil Knight. “The Nike product has become synonymous with slave wages, forced overtime, and arbitrary abuse. I truly believe the American consumer doesn’t want to buy products made under abusive conditions.”

--Forced Reform by...
- monitoring factories
- pressuring company
- lobbied US Congress
2004- Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic

-3000 factors in 50 different nations- Asia & Africa

-child labor
-10-25% use coercion or verbal abuse
-50% in Africa considered unsafe
Factory fires:
-- Bangladesh 2012
--Pakistan 2012
--Bangladesh 2013
Many protest about their own working conditions, alongside US activists
--Others use 'weapons of the weak'
--Malay Factory Workers
--spirit possessions
Debates: creation of new middle-class or unfair labor?
“Structural violence is one way of describing social arrangements that put individuals and populations in harm’s way… The arrangements are structural because they are embedded in the political and economic organization of our social world; they are violent because they cause injury to people … neither culture nor pure individual will is at fault; rather, historically given (and often economically driven) processes and forces conspire to constrain individual agency.” Paul Falmer
structural violence is "exerted systematically, indirectly, by everyone who belongs to a certain social order - hence the discomfort these ideas provoke in a moral economy still geared to pinning praise or blame on individual actors" _Paul Falmer
examined subcultures/oppositional cultures that make statements about, resist, and protest conditions of inequality- the unequal distribution of resources, rewards, & prestige - globally and locally
-heavy metal
-American migrant communities
-movements around the MNCs

Need "an honest of account of who wins, who loses and what weapons are used"
--may be physical violence
--may be in the form of ideologies
--may be in the form of institutions & structures that restrict access to resources & power

--working in Free Trade Zones (FTZ)
--import material/equipment tariff free for processing, manufacturing
--North American Free Trade Agreement (1994)
--Eliminate barriers in trading and investment
Why doesn't the Mexican government respond by enforcing labor and environmental laws, setting higher minimum wages?
Malaysian factories
-- Japanese owned electronic factories
--workers young, unmarried women
--benefits: personal income, delayed marriage, increased role in household decisions
--perpetuates lack of schooling
--factory 'discipline'
--public scrutiny
What ideologies underpin Stossel's argument?
-Does everyone have the same economic/social position?
--Does benefits gained mean that factory abuses should occur?
Where did governmental regulation (safety, health, environmental impact) of factories in the US come from?
--minimum wage -- 37.40p/day = $3.95 (2000) = weekly 280.46p
--top of pay scale: 550p/week

-- rent/week: 177p --milk 1/2 gallon: 18.90p
--electricity: 52p --tomatoes (2lbs): 9.37p
--gas: 31p --tortillas (2lbs): 4.53p
--water: 28p --chicken: 21.20p
--transportation: 92p --rice (2lbs): 6.69p
--eggs (17): 17.36p
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