Sweatshops have been around for centuries, beginning around the late 1880’s. Sweatshops are classified by three main components, long work hours, very low pay and unsafe and unhealthy working environments. Sweatshops are usually found in manufacturing industries and the most highlighted production is clothing corporations, who take full advantage of the low production costs of their products. Many may think sweatshops are a thing of the past but they are still affecting many lives across the nations. There are many ways sweatshops affect lives, but a recent article titled “New study finds ‘more sweatshops than Starbucks’ in Chicago” explains that there are many low wage industry jobs that are violating labor laws in the United States alone. The article also reports how employees who are working in such conditions won’t speak up in fear of the retaliation employers will implement. Analyzing Sweatshops through the lens of the Sociological perspectives will help us better understand the illegal conditions of workplaces that still exist today.
Sweltering heat, long hours, unfair working conditions are a few descriptive words that Americans use to describe a sweatshop. I believe our judgment is being misguided by the success of our nation, and it is imperative we redefine the word “sweatshop”. Individuals that endure life in third world countries know hardships that Americans could not imagine. If we were to recognize these economical differences it may shine a light on why these workers seek sweatshop jobs. In many of these cases, children must work to aid in the family’s survival. If these jobs are voluntary and both parties agree to working conditions, it results in a mutually beneficial arrangement. One of the worst things we can do as outsiders, to help these impoverished
Sweltering heat, long hours, and unfair working conditions are a few descriptive words that Americans use to describe a sweatshop. I believe our judgment is being misguided by the success of our nation, and it is imperative we redefine the word “sweatshop”. Individuals that endure life in third world countries know hardships that Americans could not imagine. If we were to recognize these economical differences it may shine a light on why these workers seek sweatshop jobs. In many of these cases, children must work to aid in the family’s survival. If these jobs are voluntary and both parties agree to work conditions, it results in a mutually beneficial arrangement. One of the worst things we can do as outsiders, to help these impoverished
A majority of the clothing worn and purchased today in the United States has been manufactured overseas in sweatshops. Since the beginning of factories and businesses, owners have always looked for a way to cut production costs while still managing to produce large quantities of their product. It was found that the best way to cut costs was to utilize cheap labor in factories known as sweatshops. According to the US General Account Office, sweatshops are defined as a “business that regularly violates both wage or child labor and safety or health laws”. These sweatshops exploit their workers in various ways: making them work long hours in dangerous working conditions for little to no pay. Personally, I believe that the come up and employment of these sweatshops is unethical, but through my research I plan to find out if these shops produce more positive than negatives by giving these people in need a job despite the rough conditions.
Time and time again, there have been opposing views on just about every single possible topic one could fathom. From the most politically controversial topics of gun control and stem cell research to the more mundane transparent ones of brown or white rice and hat or no hat—it continues. Sweatshops and the controversy surrounding them is one that is unable to be put into simplistic terms, for sweatshops themselves are complex. The grand debate of opposing views in regards to sweatshops continues between two writers who both make convincing arguments as to why and how sweatshops should or should not be dealt with. In Sweat, Fire and Ethics, by Bob Jeffcott, he argues that more people ought to worry less about the outer layers of sweatshops and delve deeper into the real reason they exist and the unnecessariness of them. In contrast, Jeffrey D. Sachs writes of the urgent requirement of sweatshops needed during the industrialization time in a developing country, in his article of Bangladesh: On the Ladder of Development. The question is then asked: How do sweatshops positively and negatively affect people here in the United States of America and in other countries around the world?
In his New York Times opinion column, “Where Sweatshops Are a Dream”, writer Nicholas D. Kristof uses his experience living in East Asia to argue his positive outlook on sweatshops. Kristof wants to persuade his audience, Obama and his team, along with others who are for “labor standards”, that the best way to help people in poor countries is to promote manufacturing there, not campaign against them. He uses Phnom Penh as an example to show why working in the sweatshops is a dream for the families there. They would rather work at a sweatshop than stay in the dangerous garbage dump, searching for something to recycle for change. The writer establishes credibility through his experience
It is often said that products made in sweatshops are cheap and that is why people buy those products, but why is it behind the clothes or shoes that we wear that make sweatshops bad? In the article Sweat, Fire and Ethics by Bob Jeffcott is trying to persuade the people and tell them how sweatshops are bad.
They often use child labor, lack workers’ benefits, and use intimidation as means of controlling workers (Boal, Mark). Typically, sweatshops are found in developing countries, however, they are also a prevalent problem in many first world countries including the United States. Many manufacturers claim that sweatshops exist in order to keep prices down for consumers, while allowing profit. On the contrary, there is also substantial evidence that goes against these beliefs. For instance, a study showed that while doubling the wage of sweatshop workers would increase consumer price by 1.8%, consumers are willing to pay 15% more with the assurance that the product was made with fair labor (11 Facts About). This, however, is a hard argument seeing as the circumstance was hypothetical and if prices were actually raised, there is no way to assure that consumers would react the same way. Either way, both sides of the argument can agree that the conditions are not good, it is just a matter of analysing the cost vs. the benefit to determine their necessity. This leads to several questions: Are sweatshops a necessary evil, how could they be abolished, and what realistic goals regarding the bettering of worker conditions can be met? Through the answering of these questions, it is easy to see that despite claims of sweatshops bringing opportunities to
First, sweatshops have poor working conditions. Examples of poor working conditions are factories are not ventilated; no toilets, have to work for longer hours, there is no emergency exists and minimum wages are given. There are some owners of sweatshops who forced their employees to work for longer hours but pay a minimum wage. This is proved in a case called Two Cheers for Sweatshops, Mongkol’s daughter had to work for nine hours straight but she is only paid $2 a day. She also works six days in a week. The poor working conditions actually can affect a person mental and physical
In the essay “Sweatshop Oppression”, the writer, Rajeev Ravisankar begins his essay by building a connection with the audience by establishing common ground when he states, “being the “poor” college students that we all are” (Ravisankar, 2006). The problem he identifies is the significantly poor working conditions and slave labor wages that are often the price for cheaper goods from large renowned companies. Ravisankar assumes his readers are college students, and unaware of the reality of and often destitute conditions of these sweatshops. His goal is to not only bring awareness to the reality of sweatshop oppression, but how others, such as USAS have stepped up to bring change, and what
There are many views with the problem of utilizing sweatshops in developing economies. Many insist that utilizing sweatshops in developing economies composes exploitation. In certain circumstances, this may be true, but not all. It is an ongoing controversy of demolishing sweatshops and changing the laws of labor. Many anti-sweatshop activist supports the idea of demolishing sweatshops. Activist commonly focus on work conditions and low wages causing them to be ill – formed of the economy as a whole. Taking a deeper look into these developing countries, it is with out of doubt that these countries benefit from sweatshops. Sweatshops should not be demolished because the employees are benefited with income, their economy receives growth and
Ben Powell’s “In Defense of ‘Sweatshops’” article offers an uncommon point of view regarding the necessity of sweatshops. Powell knows that people know about sweatshops, but he offers another angle to the topic. The point he tries to get across is how sweatshops can actually be beneficial to the people in the third world countries, rather than them being a terrible thing. Throughout the article, he brought up some relatively good points, but not all he had to say was backed up with evidence. Therefore, Powell’s article was semi-effective.
Almost everyone knows sweatshops are not acceptable places to work or support. Sweatshops, per definition from the International Labor Organization are organizations that violate more than two labor laws (Venkidaslam). There are several arguments against sweatshops. First, is that these organizations exploit their workers. They provide them low wages and some pay below the minimum wage of the home nation. Moreover, these workers are forced to work more than 60 hours per week and are mandated to work overtime. In addition, workers are subjected to unsafe environments and sexual abuse. Finally, sweatshops are known for their child labor, where children below the legal working age are paid extremely small wages. Anyone who is against sweatshops will say, choosing to partner with these organizations are unethical.
In many sweatshops, however, the workers are there voluntarily. Even the meager wages earned are more than the undocumented immigrants workers would earn in their home countries. As long as there is a supply of willing workers, sweatshops will flourish.
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the vast range of goods produced overseas and the often horrifying conditions under which workers labored to produce them. College students, activists, and certain scholars were quick to condemn “Sweatshops” and the multinational companies (MNC’s) that used them. However, this initial moral condemnation was based more on a natural sense of horror than moral reasoning, and critics often demonstrated a lack of sensitivity to both the underlying economic conditions that gave rise to the sweatshop phenomenon and to the beneficial consequences of sweatshops for both their employees and the broader economies in which they functioned. As a result, many economists quickly leapt to the