Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sweaty


In this article by Luke Pryor we see why sweatshops are a necessary evil. He portrays the issue of sweatshops as a good thing and that we should be more careful when we fight to get rid of sweatshops. The idea of good place to work is all in the perspective. Americans have so much more wealth than a lot of third world countries, so our vision of a sweatshop is skewed. For those people who live through life not knowing when their next meal will be, a sweatshop is a way out.

     Mr. Pryor follows the interactionist theory in this article. He looks at sweatshops in the view of who thinks they are good and who thinks they are bad. Perception is a huge part of this social issue. You can see how he holds to this theory by the way he tackles American’s perceptions and the perception of those people who choose to work in those environments.

     His strongest attribute in this article is his focus on perception. We clearly see why Americans feel that sweatshops are a bad thing; but he shows, as well, that people who are so extremely poor need factories to bring about a better life for themselves. Americans are very ethnocentric. We judge others based on our values and expect those values to hold for people of different ethnicities. In this situation our ethnocentric characteristic is hurting those who need our help most. We should hold the people working in those sweatshops against their own ethnic values. If we do this, than we might see that these factories play a vital role in the fight against poverty.

     The weak part of his argument is that he ignores the inequality of the sweatshops. The factories are important to help the poor with jobs, but they should provide a safe and comfortable place for their workers to work. Wages should be appropriate for the workers. Yes, this place brings a lot of these people out of the garbage dumps, but that does not mean that they do not deserve a good work place. Luke does not do as good as job of illustrating as I would have liked.

     In general I agree with the author’s claim. The people working in the sweatshops do not have a better option. We should not shut down sweatshops to make ourselves better. We should fight to bring about better conditions for these people but not at the cost of their jobs. A job working is a lot better than people scavenging and begging for food and money. Just because corporations are trying to be more cost-effective does not mean that these factories are a complete evil. Before making demands or finding ways to shut down these factories, we should check to see if these sweatshops are doing more good than harm.