Book

Making Sweatshops

Ellen IsraelRosen

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233362
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928572 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233362.001.0001
Making Sweatshops

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Offering an historical analysis of the globalization of the U.S. apparel industry, this book focuses on the reemergence of sweatshops in the United States and the growth of new ones abroad. It probes the shifts in trade policy and global economics that have spawned momentous changes in the international apparel and textile trade. It also asks whether the process of globalization can be promoted in ways that blend industrialization and economic development in both poor and rich countries with concerns for social and economic justice—especially for the women who toil in the industry's low-wage sites around the world. It looks closely at the role trade policy has played in globalization in this industry. It traces the history of current policies toward the textile and apparel trade to cold war politics and the reconstruction of the Pacific Rim economies after World War II. The narrative takes us through the rise of protectionism and the subsequent dismantling of trade protection during the Reagan era to the passage of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the continued push for trade accords through the WTO. Going beyond purely economic factors, this valuable study elaborates the full historical and political context in which the globalization of textiles and apparel has taken place. It then takes a critical look at the promises of prosperity, both in the U.S. and in developing countries, made by advocates for the global expansion of these industries. It offers evidence to suggest that this process may inevitably create new and more extreme forms of poverty.

Keywords: globalization; U.S. apparel industry; sweatshops; trade policy; global economics; low wages; textile; cold war politics; Pacific Rim; North American Free Trade Agreement

Book.  347 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Making Sweatshops

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The 1980s in Making Sweatshops

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