commodity chains

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The network of economic links which integrate transnational labour processes and corporations involved in global sourcing and global marketing of products. Commodity chain analysis—sometimes also known as the ‘global commodity chains’ (GCC) approach—is a development of the world-system perspective. It challenges the assumption that capitalism is an incremental process contained within nation-states by tracking the organizational, geographical, and cultural dimensions of world-wide chains for the manufacture and distribution of goods such as clothing, automobiles, food, and drugs. A distinction is sometimes made between producer-driven (transnational corporation) and buyer-driven (retailer/trading company) commodity chains. For a summary statement and series of case-studies see Gary Gereffi and Miguel Korzeniewicz (eds.), Commodity Chains and Global Capitalism (1994). See also globalization.

Subjects: Sociology.

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