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Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops
Rana Dasgupta on Mon, 2 Aug 2004 17:53:48 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Art of Sweatshops

Yes thank you.  'Sweatshop' seems to be an epithet of race and geography,
not an analytical category.  Chinese production houses, whether in
Shenzhen or Manhattan, are always 'sweatshops'.  'White' production, on
the other hand, is rarely carried out in 'sweatshops' (although sometimes
the word is used for effect, as in the title of that recent book, "White
Collar Sweatshop").

The word therefore seems to fuse racial or geographical characteristics
with a particular mode of production and an implied set of political and
ethical values - or the absence of them.  I am often surprised by the way
this word is thrown at situations without any real justification for its
melodramatic connotations - and without any critical reaction.

(Perhaps the clammy, tropical feel of the word helps all this...)


Rana Dasgupta

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: Andrew Ross <andrew.ross {AT} nyu.edu>
Reply-To: Andrew Ross <andrew.ross {AT} nyu.edu>
Date:  Sun, 01 Aug 2004 12:03:09 -0400

>Re: the subject line. Just a matter of interest, why do you assume this is a
>sweatshop operation? Simply because it is in China?  Or is it impossible to
>imagine the condition of Chinese artisans as comparing favorably with their
>Western counterparts?


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