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 The 20th and 21st centuries have seen a rise in the controversial industry of cheap labor practices and sweatshop employment, where globalization and industrialization have absorbed a working force of young, unmarried women looking to alter their current ways of life. In order to understand what will unfold within the following pages, it is essential to outline the terms, which act as the foundation for this debate.

Sweatshop: “workers in developing country labor at 16 cents an hour, 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to make a running shoe that sells for $150 in North America, while basketball stars receive multimillion dollar contracts to endorse them.” (p.92)


Globalization: “used as a blanket term for the increasing interdependence among the nations of the world in the economic, social, and cultural spheres—as well as many more. It can refer to the practice of a television station airing all around the world news from one specific region, as well as the practice of a foreign company establishing a presence in a new market. Globalization is not limited to the passage of merchandise; what it can also refer to is the transmission of ideas and information across oceans.” (Naomi Klein Website)

The nineteenth century marked the start of an era where transitions from tailor made clothing to ready made clothing, thus opening the door to the low wage labor industry. The hand held needle and thread operated by the dress-makers and tailors were quickly replaced with the modern day sewing machine and garment assembly worker. The prêt- a-portee revolution also brought about a shift in the global sewing force from male to female as well as native to immigrants being targeted for employment opportunities. The question remaining as to whether or not it better to take up a low-wage job or remain unemployed and wait for a better employment opportunity. Best discussed through a paralleled fashion where both opposing and supporting opinions may be showcased...
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