Each week you will be asked to read a chapter from the text AND view a text related video. These videos are intended to enhance your learning of the course concepts. In addition to this, you will view one film per week that will offer an application of the textbook material. At the close of each week, you will be expected to submit a thoughtful discussion post in which you apply concepts presented by the material and make connections between texts. As the course progresses you will also be able to make connections with DN as well as assigned podcasts.
This week’s film: The True Cost: Who Pays the Price for Our Clothes
Part I (7 Points)
- As demonstrated in the film, some economists argue that conditions in garment factories, bad as they may be, are better opportunities for workers in “developing” countries than they would have otherwise. Respond to these questions. Be specific and provide examples.
- After watching this film, do you buy this argument?
- Even if the argument is true, does that mean that conditions should not be improved?
- How are women’s rights particularly affected?
- When workers organized and protested the labor conditions in the film, they were met with a fierce backlash from their employers and state forces. Respond to these questions. Be specific and provide examples.
- How important is collective bargaining to workers’ rights?
- Why is worker organizing and collective bargaining so threatening to employers and governments?
- The garment industry is the second-most polluting in the world. A significant amount of this pollution is the “disposable” clothing itself. Respond to these questions. Be specific and provide examples.
- Why is there so much waste?
- How does this waste effect the environment?
- How does the waste and acceleration of garment production contribute to climate change?
- What can be done to reduce waste, the garment industry’s effect on the climate and on the environment in general?
Part II (3 Points)
- This film not only connects environmental devastation to the clothing industry, but clearly demonstrates the disproportionate short and long term impacts on poor women of color in developing countries. You task this week is to make one connection to each of these chapters: Chapters 8, 9 and 6 (Race, Gender, and Environment). Be specific and provide examples from the text.