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Globalization Resources

The following discussion of resources and approaches for dealing
with globalization took place on WMST-L in March 2003.  For
additional WMST-L files available on the Web, see the
WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 10:09:55 -0500
From: Blaise Astra Parker <blaze AT ARCHES.UGA.EDU>
Subject: globalization resources
Hi all,

We're discussing globalization in my intro to women's studies class next
week, and I already have some indication that one student will challenge
me. He's told me before that he thinks jobs exported to other countries
(i.e., sweatshops) aren't that bad and that the people who work there are
grateful and make a comfortable living, especially since the American
dollar is worth so much more than whatever their native currency is. He
also thinks that building factories in those countries means we're helping
build up their infrastructure. I'd like some responses to these points
that are (hopefully) from the perspective of people in those countries AND
that are up-to-date. A lot of the printed/video information I have is at
least 7-8 years old or more. Does anyone know of good web sites for this?

Also, I'd love a chart of wages in other countries. I have the one from
Women's Wear Daily that I think was dated 1995, but I assume things have
changed since then?

Finally, does anyone have information on sweatshops in the US?


Blaise Astra Parker                  Email: blaze  AT  arches.uga.edu
244 Psychology                       WWW: http://www.arches.uga.edu/~blaze
University of Georgia                ICQ: 23425372   AIM: BlaiseAstra
Life Span Developmental Psychology   MSN: Starfire875  Yahoo: Starfire875
"I believe in nothing, everything is sacred.                    Tom
             I believe in everything, nothing is sacred."     Robbins
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 10:33:07 -0500
From: rpe2836u <rpe2836u AT POSTOFFICE.URI.EDU>
Subject: Re: globalization resources
feed this into the Google search engine:
sweatshops - Charles Kernigan

Charles Kernigan is the head of labor organization that focuses on sweatshops
all over the world.  There are many citations for recent interviews and
articles as well as links to web sites that feature sweatshops.
You'll find a treasure chest of resources.


Rosa Maria Pegueros, J.D., Ph.D.

Women's Studies Program &          E-mail: <pegueros  AT  uri.edu>
Department of History,             
University of Rhode Island         
80 Upper College Road, Ste. 3
Kingston, RI 02881-0817  http://www.uri.edu/personal/rpe2836u/
        "When I get a little money, I buy books;
        and if any is left I buy food and clothes."
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 09:01:13 -0700
From: blend <blend AT NM.NET>
Subject: Re: globalization resources
I am also teaching a course this semester entitled "Women and
Globalization through the Eyes of Literature." This is slightly outside
of my field, but there are several good anthologies that deal with
women's resistance to globalization, and I have asked representatives
from Sweatshop Free Albuquerque and other local activists who work with
women's collectives in Chiapas to talk to my class. I would suggest
finding such local activists in your community.
Benay Blend
blend  AT  nm.net
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 11:06:31 -0500
From: Daphne Patai <daphne.patai AT SPANPORT.UMASS.EDU>
Subject: globalization resources and professorial cpmpetence
Blaise Parker's message implies quite a few teaching practices/attitudes
that seem to me problematic.  First, Professor Parker  is teaching an area
that clearly she has limited knowledge of. Yet she has a fixed position
(otherwise she would not refer to her student's "challenges to me") and
seeks info to sustain it.  Second, her query to the list suggests that
without this foreseeable challenge, she would teach about this subject from
her particular (evidently opposing) perspective and would not raise on her
own the issues her student is raising with his "challenges." Third, she is
evidently seeking "responses" to the student's "challenges" rather than
fair-minded discussion of them. Fourth, she is asking for help with the most
basic sort of information about wages worldwide, sweatshops, etc., *the week
before* teaching these subjects in her course.

I intend no offense to Professor Parker.  My concern is with whether this is
considered appropriate teaching in an introduction to women's studies
course.  I wonder, too, if this course is a pure elective or (as is
increasingly the case throughout the country) fulfils a gen ed requirement
at the university or is indeed required outright.   While high standards of
pedagogy should be the norm in all courses, including women's studies',
questionable preparation and an  open embrace of bias are  even more
problematic in basic and non-elective courses.

daphne.patai  AT  spanport.umass.edu
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 10:11:27 -0600
From: Phyllis Holman Weisbard <pweisbard AT LIBRARY.WISC.EDU>
Subject: Re: globalization resources
Try the Maquila Solidarity Network at http://www.maquilasolidarity.org/

Select "Resource Centre" for articles, etc.
One complaint brought by workers themselves under NAFTA is the
Autotrim/Customtrim case. See

 Also, the MSN's "links" section links to numerous organizations that
monitor conditions in sweatshops and/or advocate against them.

We use parts of that site as well as others as examples in our tutorial
on evaluating web search results, because the topic we use throughout
the tutorial happens to be  the condition of women workers in Mexican
maquiladoras (export assembly factories). The tutorial is at

Phyllis Holman Weisbard
University of Wisconsin System
Women's Studies Librarian
430 Memorial Library, 728 State Street
Madison, WI 53706
pweisbard  AT  library.wisc.edu
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 11:21:40 -0500
From: Janet Gray <gray AT TCNJ.EDU>
Subject: Re: globalization resources
I find Emory U's website on globalization immensely useful in Women's Studies
classes...here's the link:
http://www.emory.edu/SOC/globalization/issues.html  I just set students loose
on the first three links - all of which lead to other links, articles, etc.

Global Exchange also offers a bunch of info and analysis at
http://www.globalexchange.org/economy/econ101/ - but your student may not be
ready to trust a movement's media resources.

And here's a fun link full of educational materials:
http://Www.globalarcade.org/  The idea of this site is that learning about
globalization can be fun for the whole family!

Looking forward to others' responses to Blaise's question...

Janet Gray
gray  AT  tcnj.edu
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 10:50:08 -0600
From: Suzanne E Franks <sefranks AT KSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: globalization resources and professorial cpmpetence
Daphne Patai wrote:
>Blaise Parker's message implies quite a few teaching practices/attitudes
>that seem to me problematic.  First, Professor Parker  is teaching an area
>that clearly she has limited knowledge of. Yet she has a fixed position
>(otherwise she would not refer to her student's "challenges to me") and
>seeks info to sustain it.  Second, her query to the list suggests that
>without this foreseeable challenge, she would teach about this subject from
>her particular (evidently opposing) perspective and would not raise on her
>own the issues her student is raising with his "challenges." Third, she is
>evidently seeking "responses" to the student's "challenges" rather than
>fair-minded discussion of them. Fourth, she is asking for help with the
>basic sort of information about wages worldwide, sweatshops, etc., *the
>before* teaching these subjects in her course.

1.  Blaise Parker wrote "one student will challenge me", which is
different from talking about a student's "challenges to me."  A bright
and inquisitive student, or one who is just very comfortable about
speaking up, can certainly challenge a professor in the best ways we
hope to be challenged in the classroom.  Such students challenge us to
go further in our teaching, dig deeper, explore subject matter in more
depth.  I just read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education
yesterday in which a professor waxes poetic about how teaching forced
him to understand his subject matter better, so as to be able to
explain it better.  Teaching would be boring if we were never
challenged by our students.

2.  Perhaps without this student's challenge, Blaise Parker would not
have raised the issues the student raised.  How wonderful, then, that
they are being rasied.  But this is just a repeat of #1 above.
Students bring something to the classroom with them.  The learning
process is shaped by students and teachers together - or at least,
ideally, it should be.  I don't know of any teacher anywhere who is
able to avoid teaching their subject from their own perspective.  You
can call that bias, or you can call that professional expertise.

3.  If a student challenges a professor, and that professor does not
go out and seek assistance in responding to the challenging questions
raised by the student, then that would indeed be professional
malpractice.  Patai claims Parker is not seeking "fair-minded
discussion."  But what Parker asked for was "responses to these
points...from the perspective of people in those countries...that are
up to date....Also I'd love a chart of wages in other countries."  Now
that sounds to me like asking for factual and up to date information
that could be provided to the student and used as a basis for "fair
minded discussion."  Unless, of course, information on wages, and the
perspectives of people who are directly affected by the issues under
discussion, are considered irrelevant to "fair-minded discussion" of
globalization, wages, and job exportation.

4.  How Patai knows what topics are on the syllabus of Parker's
course, and whether the issue Parker asked for help with is one of
those topics, is beyond me, because I can't make that out from the
original email.  But perhaps Dr. Patai has never had the experience of
a student raising an issue that is slightly outside the actual
syllabus topics to be covered.  Or perhaps Dr. Patai has never been
asked to teach an intro or survey course in which she is not a
complete expert on every topic to be covered in the course.

I am flat-out astonished at the reading between the lines and creative
interpretation Dr. Patai has done with Blaise Parker's original email.
If no one should ever attempt to teach, write, or expound on issues of
which one has limited or incomplete knowledge, academia as we know it
would radically change.  For example, we'd certainly have trouble
continuing to offer survey courses taught by only one professor.  To
take an example closer to home, on this listserv, Dr.  Patai has
frequently felt free to comment on the inclusion or lack thereof of
science in women's studies, as well as to offer semi-scientific
critiques of various women's studies theories, yet she possesses no
scientific credentials herself.  A logical conclusion of the argument
she puts forth against Parker is that she would need to stop
commenting on science-related topics.  As a scientist myself, I am
certainly not comfortable with the idea that only scientists can have
anything valuable to say about science and its uses or abuses.  And I
really don't want to live in an world where I can never go to my
colleagues for assistance in responding to a challenging student
without being accused of being ill-prepared, ignorant, and dogmatic.

Suzanne E. Franks
Director, Women in Engineering and Science Program
Kansas State University
sefranks  AT  ksu.edu
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 11:18:10 -0600
From: Hannah Miyamoto <hsmiyamoto AT MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: globalization resources and professorial cpmpetence
[In response to Daphne Patai]

  Permit me to suggest a broader and more moderate approach.

  On the one hand, one can cite many examples where living and working
conditions for workers at some plant owned by a U.S., European, and Japanese
company is better than the general condition of workplaces in that country
as well as the farms (and estates) at which the workers formerly labored.
On the other hand, conditions for workers at few if any plants outside the
industrial nations are comparable to conditions for workers at plants in the
industrial states, whether in Holland, Ohio or Hiroshima
  The question is actually part-ethical and part-policy:  Should
multinational corporations be permitted to profit from the disparity in
conditions for workers in the producing and consuming parts of the world?
It is a policy question because it relates to the availability of
living-wage jobs in the industrial states, and in some cases, financial
support for groups suppressing other (generally ethnic) groups in their

   For a feminist perspective, one can take a historical approach to Third
World development.  I was recently paging through a very old book (c. 1920)
that documented the importance of silk production (along with porcelain and
laquerware) in supporting the industrialization (and eventual
militarization) of Japan.  Silk production was "women's work," from the
feeding of the worms to the spinning of their cocoons.  Women and girls made
modern Japan, yet their social and economic position changed very little
until America occupied their country in 1945--and even then!...
   A fine case can probably be made that women and girls have played a vital
role in the modernization of every state that has industrialized since the
United States in the 1820's, and that this contribution has never been
adequately recognized nor rewarded.  There are some very good economic
reasons for basing a nation's economic progress on its women, including that
women are less likely to rebel* when forced to work long hours as well as
care for their families.  That fact alone should support a good discussion.
However, a more important question is, given the advances in human morals
and ethics since then, is a model of industrial development that served
Japan in 1870 the only appropriate model for industrial development today?

Hannah Miyamoto
hsmiyamoto  AT  msn.com
UW-Green Bay
Women's Studies, Senior

* Example of such rebellion:  The "Anti-Marriage Resistance Sisterhoods" of
19th century China.  Here is a surprisingly good source on these
sisterhoods, and it illustrates how women were responsible for silk
production and even includes interesting class projects.
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 12:46:15 -0500
From: Margaret Tarbet <oneko AT ATT.NET>
Subject: Re: globalization resources
A very readable and well-received (see Amazon's reviewer
comments) book on globalisation and its human impact is Barbara
Garson's _Money Makes The World Go Round_.   In it, she follows
the (hypothetical) course of a smallish investment--the advance
on her book--made at a local bank as it goes around the world,
touching the lives of many people for good or--often--ill.


Margaret Tarbet / oneko  AT  att.net
Il felino pi· piccolo F un capolavoro.
--Leonardo da Vinci

Finem respice et principiis obsta!
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 11:31:46 -0800
From: "Jabbra, Dr. Nancy" <njabbra AT LMU.EDU>
Subject: global sweatshops
Hi!  Check out <www.nikewages.org> for information on Nike factories in
Indonesia.  Jim Keady and Leslie Kretzu have a great presentation for
students, and also are making a documentary film.  And, from Los Angeles,
<www.garmentworkercenter.org> and <www.sweatshopwatch.org>.  These folk do
a lot of student organizing.   -Nancy Jabbra, Loyola Marymount University,
<njabbra  AT  lmu.edu>.
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 15:33:56 -0500
From: "Oboler, Regina" <roboler AT URSINUS.EDU>
Subject: Re: global sweatshops
There are a couple of good videos:  TRADE SECRETS, from UC Berkeley Center
for Labor Research and Education, contact Jeremy Blasi
(blasi  AT  uclink.berkeley.edu) and GLOBAL VILLAGE OR GLOBAL PILLAGE? (available
from South End Press.)

United for a Fair Economy and United Students Against Sweatshops also have
good materials.
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 15:33:10 EST
From: Claire Kirch <ClaireinDuluth AT AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: globalization resources
a new anthology with some good articles on the impact of globalization and
NAFTA on women here and in other countries is SING, WHISPER, SHOUT, PRAY:
FEMINIST VISIONS FOR A JUST WORLD, edited by M. Jacqui Alexander, Lisa
Albrecht, Sharon M. Day, and Mab Segrest. EdgeWork books published this
anthology just this past month and you can find more information at
www.edgework.com, plus you can read excerpts and order reading copies (if you
want to consider adopting it for a course) on the website.

Claire Kirch
Duluth, Minnesota
ClaireinDuluth  AT  aol.com

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