Daniela Gonzalez Vargas
Through Karl Marx's concept we see in the documentary the following three concepts—exploitation, alienation and capitalists. Karl Marx defines- “Exploitation is a necessary part of the capitalist economy.” pg. 53 Karl Marx: Sociological Theory According to Marx, workers must accept the terms the capitalists offer them because the workers can no longer or are unable to produce for their own needs. Surplus value-is equal to the new value created by workers in excess of their own labor-cost, which is appropriated by the capitalist as profit when products are sold. This where the workers work for ten to twelve-hour shifts, paid less than a dollar a day in hazard conditions. These workers become enslaved in the sweat-shops with no rights and are afraid to speak up because if they do, they can be fired from their job. Through Max Weber's concepts he mentions—three important concepts: Class, Status and Party. Weber's concept of class is seen throughout the documentary. The concept of class is when any group of people are found in the same economic situation. Obviously, through the documentary class is seen highly and effectively in how the employees will never be able to rise into having a status or being part of a political party. Through Durkheim we are able to explore the concepts of social facts leading into Functionalism, division of labor and Organic Solidarity. Organic Solidarity is when there are high levels of individuals but among the people there is a large division of labor and in society.
No Logo is not just a phrase to describe the spirit of anti-corporate resistance. McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Disneyland were all selling an idea and lifestyles. Coca-Cola was selling more than their product to the youth, they were selling them a profound life-style of peace and love and not just their product. Before Nike became an athletic industry, they were a fashion industry but switched over to a sneaker industry because of their idea of an athletic ability and featuring true super star athletes such as Tiger Woods. Automobile advertisements wasn't about the car or the new features but rather how a group of young friends were in the car listening to music and the fun they were having and that was how many of car companies were able to get the youth into buying automobiles. Throughout the history of advertising and promoting products the old way of promoting was to show people consuming product and the new way was to go out into today's society and find out what the community is with the product.
The power of marketing is to get the attention of society. Marketing isn't just about billboard it is now automobile billboards roaming through the streets. Companies are now producing brand and images which have meaning rather than producing the product itself. For example, Nike, when we see their swoosh logo, we know that Nike didn't make those shoes they bought the shoes through contractors—sweat shop factories—where the people are working and are paid less than a $1 a day. In these factories there is child labor and hazard work conditions where it can lead to death. Sweat shops are spread out throughout the world such as Hong Kon, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Honduras. Through these contractors there are subcontractors and the industry continue to grow. In order for these factories and sweat-shops to keep wages extremely low and having to not pay benefits or insurance to their workers they have restrictive rules to those working. These employees are unable to form unions or protest because they can lose their job and to those people their job is a secure source of income regardless how much they get paid, these workers are willing to obey, have less control over their lives. For example, Free-Trade Zone Factory in El Salvador produces goods to export to other countries such as the USA and in these factories, there are armed guards monitoring these workplaces, 80% of the workers are women, ages ranging from 18-25. Factories are more likely to hire women because according to research women are easier to control than men. These young girls are constantly feeling scared because they fear of losing their jobs. Those who owned factories in Korea and Twainian moved to other places where there were less restrictive rules and where people were not forming unions, demanding higher wages. Thousands would lose their jobs because of the factories who would move to where they would have to pay less. It's very hard to shop where products weren't made through sweat-shops. Supporting local business is a better outcome for them to increase or buying in bulk as a school. Being part of a global movement where it provides more of an ethical workplace for those who work in sweatshops also supports one's communities and the organizations to stop sweat-shops and hazard working conditions. Seeing an explosion of activists where billboards were being damaged by protesters and how the protesters took over the billboard to show the people how those in poorer countries are treated in factories, how their conditions are and how it needs to come to an end.
The film connects with alienation—due to four basic components of alienation: Alienation from product activity- that the worker is unhappy in his situation but cannot do much because he needs to job .Beginning with Alienation from product- the worker is unable to purchase or use the product even though he or she is making it; Alienation from fellow workers- isolated from its peers in its work environment; and Alienation from human potential- worker begins to create a mentality that he or she is worth nothing in this life and have no future of succeeding. Second, it makes a connection with, Weber's concept of Party. Party being of a high social class and being able to control the decisions made through governments but unfortunately, they may not be able to rise to that because they are forbidden to take any chances in speaking up or fighting for their rights. Finally, the last connection can be made through Durkheim's division of labor, that is focused on societies between traditional and modern societies. In these societies we see that modern is being used because now in a society not everyone follows one's labor or role. For example, women in the work industry regardless of where she works is not following the traditional labor where men are the source of income and woman staying home with their children to nurture and provide for them.
This documentary gave me a better understanding on how large companies are expanded throughout the world and take advantage of the people who live in extreme poverty. Many of these companies create sweat-shops where people are forced to work under hazard conditions with no benefits. I personally wouldn't be able to handle such conditions where I fear for my life. I truly do believe that there should be more regulations in these sweat-shops as well as on the companies that they are able to provide a safe environment and better pay for those working for them. As the company increases their profit and organization the employers should ensure safety to their employees.
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