Comm 287 Study Guide 4
Comm 287 Study Guide 4 Comm 288
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Date Created: 02/24/16
STUDY GUIDE 4 Questions for “The Discarded Factory” by Naomi Klein “The Visible Lifestyle” by Juliet Schor “Laden with Lard” by Barbara Ehrenreich “The State of Consumption Today” by Gary Gardner, Erik Asadourian & Radhika Sarin Naomi Klein “The Discarded Factory” 1. While products are made in the factory, according to advertising executive Walter Landor, where are brands made? brands are made in the mind 2. According to the new business logic, companies should not expend their resources on factories, machines, or employees, but on: virtual brick and mortar used to build their brand, on sponsorships, packaging, expansion, and advertising 3. Lavish spending by big-brand businesses on marketing has been accompanied by what? A never before seen resistance to investing in production facilities and labor 4. What “old-fashioned idea” has disappeared along with American jobs? that a manufacturer is responsible for its own workforce 5. What is meant by the business term “strategic redirection”? savvy shifts in corporate strategy 6. Why does Klein say that layoffs by companies like Levi Strauss are less about where to produce than how? Because they have a strong brand identity, these factories will never rematerialize 7. Even as they have claimed simply to be interested in bargain-hunting, brand-name multi-nationals have become less and less interested in what? Burdensome logistics of how those prices fall so low: building factories, buying machinery, and budgeting for labor have all been lobbed squarely into somebody else’s court 8. In free trade zones, how do competing labels position themselves in relation to each other? They are produced side by side 9. Which of the following is true of free trade zones? 10.What was the original purpose of creating Export Processing Zones (EPZs)? Promise of industrialization, theory that they will attract foreign investors who will decide to stay in the country 11.The vast majority of workers in EPZs are: young women 12.Why does Klein say it’s no wonder that EPZ factories in Guatemala are called “swallows”? the factories are cheaply constructed, and tossed together on land that is rented, not owned. When he climbed the water tower on the edge of the zone and looked down at the factories it seemed as if the whole cardboard complex could lift up and blow away 13.Why are there layers of blockades around EPZs? Dual purpose- to keep the hoards away from the costly goods being manufactured inside the zone and to shield the country from what is going on in the zone 14.Klein calls it a “cruel irony” that the economic incentives governments give to multinationals end up reinforcing what? Reinforces the sense that companies are economic tourists rather than long- term investors 15.What does the Mayor of Rosario mean when he says there should be a “symbiotic relationship” between the EPZs and the local governments? “they derive income from us, so the government should also derive income from them, it should have been a different Rosario” 16.What is the “official reason” often given for why countries lure factories inside their borders if they don’t bring in tax money or create local infrastructure, and simply export everything that’s made outside of their borders? A trickle down theory- these zones are job creation programs and the income the workers earn will eventually fuel sustainable growth in the local economy 17.How have the prominent brands who manufacture in China viewed the 87 cents an hour paid to Chinese workers? they do not even pay them that much, some pay as low as 13 cents an hour 18.Why was the Workers Assistance Center founded in Cavite? Trying to break through the wall of fear that surrounds the free-trade zones in the Phillipines, collecting info about working conditions inside the zones, to support the factory workers’ constitutional right to fight for better conditions 19.What have unionized factories in the Philippines done after closing down? Reopened inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone, in order to take advantage of all the incentives 20.What is a “regular shift” at the All Asia garment factory? 7 am to 10pm 21.How did Carmelita Alonzo die, according to her co- workers? Of overwork 22.Why are factory owners in no rush to expand the size of their workforce to limit the hours of individual workers? Because after a big order is filled there could be a dry spell and they don’t want to be stuck with more employees than work 23.Why does Klein say it’s a myth that developing countries have been inheriting “our jobs,” jobs Americans used to do but won’t any longer? They are not. Just as company-owned manufacturing turned – somewhere over the Pacific Ocean - into "orders" to be placed with third-party contractors, so did full-time employment undergo a mid-flight transformation into "contacts. 24.According to a 1996 labor organization study, what has suffered as a result of the relocation of production in the garment and shoe industry, and the shift of production from the formal to the informal sector? with generally negative consequences on wage levels and conditions of work." Employment in these secto~s,the study went on, has shifted from "full- time in-plant jobs to part-time and tempo~aryjobs and, especially in clothing and footwear, increasing resort to homework and small shops." 25.Why did workers tell Klein that the choice to work in EPZs was “made for them”? most of their families had lost their farms, displaced by golf courses , botched land reform laws, and more export processing zones 26.According to Cecille Tuico, of the Workers Assistance Center, what do employers look for when they seek out migrants instead of locals to work in the zone? The alienation the workers describe, prefer young women who are far from home and who have not finished school so they are uneducated about their rights 27.According to Human Rights Watch, what kind of tests do women applying for jobs in Mexican maquiladoras routinely have to take? Pregnancy tests 28.At some Mexican maquiladoras, managers have required women workers to prove what? Prove they are menstruating 29.According to Klein, what is the most “brutal expression” of the failure of many consumer-goods corporations to live up to their traditional role as mass employers? The widespread assault on women’s reproductive freedoms in the zones 30.Why did Korea to have to give up its title as “sneaker capital of the world” in the late 1980s? Korean workers began to rebel against their 1 dollar a day wages and formed trade unions to fight for better conditions 31.According to Klein, what does the “promise” of industrialization feel like inside the Cavite EPZ? Feels more like a threat 32.According to Klein, what happened in the 1990s to reveal the flawed logic of CEOs and economists who believed that sweatshop labor would ultimately lead to a higher standard of living for Third World countries? Took a severe beating when countries supposedly benefiting most from this development model began crashing like cheap plates Juliet Schor The Overspent American: “The Visible Lifestyle” 1. What does competitive spending revolve around? Revolves around a group of socially visible products 2. Why do visible products become status goods? Their ownership can be easily verified 3. What is one of the most important features of the status game? Relaying information about our consumption ??? trying too hard doesn’t work 4. What is the function of advertising on the outside of a car? Can both increase awareness and turn something inside the door into a visible commodity 5. Why do middle-class consumers (more than the rich) need logos? The middle class had little knowledge of different designers and logos, they needed to get their money’s worth in terms of status by making sure others knew where they bought something 6. What does Tommy Hilfiger say about the importance of logos for sales? “ I can’t sell a shirt without a logo, If I put a shirt without a logo on my selling floor next to a shirt with a logo same shirt same color same price, the one with the logo will blow it out. It will sell 10 times over the one without the logo. It’s a status thing” 7. For what type of products is peer group influence always higher? for visibly consumed products 8. What is similar about the history of athletic shoes, T- shirts, bicycles, sunglasses and coffee? They were once neutral symbolically but are now highly recognizible 9. What is the growth of branded middle-class consumption evidence of? Evidence that status competition in certain classes of product has become more widespread, with more people participating around ever more products 10.What does the research on museums reveal about how we consume positional goods (like tourism)? The shop is experience 11.In the research conducted by Schor why do women pay more for lipstick than for facial cleanser? Facial cleansers aren’t visibly used like lipstick, women reapply lipstick in public 12.What is the relationship between income/education and status consumption? Women with higher education levels and higher income did more status purchases 13.The proliferation of what types of goods are testimony to our concern with making an impression? Imitation status goods 14.How have some designers dealt with the problem of fakes? If you can’t beat them join them, the fakes are real whatever is meant by that 15.According to Russell Belk, what are our possessions? Our extended selves 16.What is the new game in town? Individuality 17.Where is the new game of consumption most evident? Home furnishings 18.Why are natural fabrics so important to the new game? Natural fibers and materials symbolically obliterate the connection to assembly lines and factories, symbolically not man made 19.When does spending come to the fore as a powerful determinant of social status? It is precisely when traditional markers of identity and position, such as birth and occupation, begin to break down 20.How did Doris Shepley pay dearly for her status seeking? it kept her from saving enough to be financially secure, led her to buy an excessively big house, and for years kept her tied to a job she didn’t really like 21.What does Schor think our sense of the “aesthetic” is drenched in? class association 22.What does the example of vitamins and jeans tell us about status? They all come from the same place but are put at different places with different labels 23.What is status seeking pushing American consumers toward? to buy into a brand oriented market in which they are paying not only a large sum of money for advertising, but also high prices for projects that are only symbolically not functionally different for lower priced products 24.How could the money that we are spending on status competition be used? Improving our public schools, boosting retirement savings, or providing drug treatment for the millions of people the country is locking up in an effort to protect the commodities others have required Barbara Ehrenreich “Laden with Lard” 1. How did Gloria Steinem describe the East German revolution? This is liberation, or is it consumerism? It was a good example of how women might do things- first we have the revolution then we go shopping 2. What were the two reasons that Communism failed? It couldn’t deliver the goods and it had no ideological retort to the powerfully seductive messages of the capital consumer culture 3. What are the messages of advertising about? Individual liberty, sexual expression, and a universal entitlement to comfort, pleasure, and even adventure 4. What do people in the post-Communist world confuse? Free markets with freedom 5. What was the “old left” position on consumption? To generalize rather crudely 6. What are the two sides of capitalism? Capitalist market in consumer goods- burgers, jeans, etc and capitalist market in human beings commoditized as labor 7. What are the two faces that capitalism presents to us? The friendly huckster and the snarling boss, who are really the same person 8. In the campaign for a livable wage or social benefits, what appears irrelevant? A sophisticated analysis of the consumer culture 9. What else is the consumer culture other than the bright side of an otherwise Dickensian economic system? A system for deflecting human desires for freedom, for sexual desire etc. onto inanimate objects 10.What does the consumer culture leave out? How does it fail to deliver? Contrast between dazzling abundance of consumer spectacle and the gnawing economic insecurity, fails to offer what consumers think they are getting 11.What is the flip-side of the consumer spectacle? The starved and impoverished public sector 12.How does advertising play a subversive role within consumer capitalism? It fans desires for romance, for camaraderie, etc. which the products themselves can never fulfill 13.What does Ehrenreich mean when she says we have to find ways to glamorize the possibility of an activist public sector? To make peoples needs and wants like national health insurance and parental leave into relating 14.What does Ehrenreich mean by “conviviality”? a society that values individual creative expression including dissidence, debate, nonconformity, artistic experimentation, and adventure 15.What does Ehrenreich believe the political project to be? To replace the consumer culture with a genuinely human culture Gary Gardner, Erik Asadourian & Radhika Sarin “The State of Consumption Today” 1. According to industry analysts, how will the number of cars on China’s streets compare to the number on US streets moving forward? Expect 150 million cars to be jamming the roads , 18 million more than were driven in United States in 1999 2. From the perspective of Chinese government officials, what economic advantages are produced by the rise of automobile culture? Each new Chinese made car adds two new jobs to Chinese workers and the income they receive then stimulates other sectors of the Chinese economy 3. What percentage of the global “consumer class” is made up of people in developing countries? Nearly half of them 4. According to the authors, what is the stark dilemma the world faces because of rising consumption? If the rest of the world consumed as much as the percentage that does now then the impact on our water supply, air quality, forests, climate, biological diversity, and human health would be severe 5. Based on US consumption patterns, what are the prospects for slowing consumption elsewhere in time to prevent severe damage to the planet? Appear to be bleak 6. According to the authors, what is the “key” to delivering a high quality of life with a minimum of environmental abuse and social inequity? The key is to look critically not only at the "how much" of consumption, but also the "how." 7. According to the authors, when does consumption threaten the well-being of people and the environment? When it becomes an end in itself, when it is an individual’s primary goal in life, the ultimate measure of success of a government’s economic policies 8. In comparison with the 20th century, what new challenge is faced by economies of mass consumption in the 21st century? To focus not on the indefinite accumulation of goods but instead on a better quality of life for all with minimal environmental harm 9. Beyond population growth, what is the other major reason that the amount of money spent on goods and services at the household level has exploded worldwide? Advancing prosperity in many parts of the globe 10.When we think about the negative effects of consumption, why would it be a mistake to believe that the skyrocketing rates of population growth in developing countries pose a greater global challenge than the much lower rates of population growth in the US? The additional Americans have greater environmental impact 11. What percentage of ALL of the worldwide private spending done by consumers is done by the 12 percent of us who live in North America and Western Europe? 60 percent Whatincomelevelwasusedtodeterminethatroughly1.2billi onpeople live in “extreme poverty”? average daily income of less than $1 13.What do members of the global consumer class tend to have in common? They are typically users of televisions, telephones, and the Internet along with the ideas and culture these products transmit 14.What region of the world has the smallest consumer class? Sub-Saharan Africa 15.According to the authors, when are worries about potential increases in Asian consumption misplaced? If they obscure the need for reform in wealthy countries, where high levels of consumption have been the norm for decades 16.Which countries are responsible for the bulk of the consumption-caused degradation of the global environment? The early industrializing countries in Europe and North America, along with Japan and Australia 17.According to the authors, why does hunger exist despite record food supplies? Food remains expensive for much of the world’s poor relative to their income 18.How many people worldwide lacked access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in 2000? 1.1 million 19.In addition to providing access to local news and entertainment, what does TV provide that relates to increases in consumption? Gives exposure to countless consumer products that are shown in advertisments and during programs 20. Why do the authors say that “the view emerging from the [television] screen is increasingly global in scope? Of the 1.12 biillion households with televisions , 31 percent subscribed to a cable television service, often exposing them to a global entertainment culture 21.How much would it cost to provide adequate food, clean water, and basic education for all of the poorest people in the world? This could all be achieved for less than people spend annually on makeup, ice cream, and pet food 22.The US, with 5 percent of the world’s population, consumes how much of the world’s oil? 26 percent 23.Even though recycling has increased worldwide, why is the amount of paper NOT recycled higher than ever? The amount of recycling has only increased a little in comparison to how much the consumption of paper has increased 24. According to the authors, how have mainstream economists since Adam Smith viewed consumers? They have claimed that consumers are sovereign actors who make rational choices in order to maximize their gratification 25.How might advertising relate to “unhealthful levels of consumption”? these abundant goods are being further stimulated by advertising 26. What advantage has a “globalizing world” offered corporations? It has allowed corporations to look across national borders for cheaper labor and to pay workers as less as pennies per hour 27.What’s the comparison between the amount of time it took for radio, TV, and the Internet to reach an audience of 50 million people? 38 years for radio, 13 years for TV, and only 4 years for the internet 28.How does Moore’s Law relate to the author’s argument about consumption? This has kept production lines humming in the information technologies industries, where Moore's Law-the rule of thumb that microprocessor capacity will double every 18 months-has prompted regular introductions of ever-more powerful computers and other digital products. The regular supply of new products, in turn, has prompted rapid turnover of these products in the last '10 decades- increasing consumption even further. 29.How does the pressure felt by companies to cover fixed costs affect production? Creates an urgency to expand production 30.According to the authors, what has been perhaps the most powerful tool designed to stimulate consumer demand? Advertising 31.How much space does advertising occupy in the average US newspaper, the mail Americans receive, and network television programming in the US? 2/3 of space in newspapers, almost half of the mail, about a quarter of network television 32.What do the profits of credit card companies depend on? Having consumers maintain large monthly balances 33.How do the authors define “waste”? any expenditure for which no value is received 34.According to a study, approximately what percentage of the total value of the US economy is spent on waste? 22 percent 35.As the waste “champions,” how much more waste does the average American produce than the average resident of any other OECD country? 51 percent more 36.According to a study published in the journal Science, why are nearly all of the world’s ecosystems shrinking? They are shrinking to make room for humans and their homes, farms, malls, and factories 37.What does the “ecological footprint” measure, and what does it show about total consumption levels relative to the ecological capacity of the planet? A measure of the impact of human consumption on global ecosystems, measures the amount of productive land an economy requires to produce the resources it needs and to assimilate its wastes, total consumption levels have already exceeded the planet’s ecological capacity by the late 1970s or early 1980s 38.Where does the US rank among the 17 countries measured in the UN Development Program’s Human Poverty Index? Ranks last 39.Which three features of American society does Robert Putnam identify as reasons for a decline in the civic engagement of Americans? Time limitations, residential sprawl and high rates of television viewing 40.What is the relationship between high consumption and the three features Putnam identifies? Time limitations are often linked to the need to work long hours to support consumption habits, sprawl is a function of car dependence and the desire for larger homes and properties, and television viewing helps promote consumption through exposure to advertising and programming that romanticizes the consumer lifestyle 41.According to the authors, what is perhaps the “most damning” evidence that “continued consumption is generating diminishing benefits”? the studies that compare the ever rising level of personal wealth in rich countries with the stagnant share of people in these nations who claim to be very happy 42.Despite their differences, the slew of books recently published about consumption share what view of consumption-oriented societies? They all express the view that consumption oriented societies are not sustainable for environmental or social reasons 43.How can governments help enhance consumer choices that will help achieve greater balance? Reshape economic incentives and regulations to ensure that businesses offer affordable options that meet consumer needs 44.What “self-serving” reasons do the authors cite to help achieve more ethical levels of consumption in the face of massive world poverty?
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