Length: 2-3 pages, double-spaced, word-processed.
Instructions: There are two parts to this Thought Paper; please complete both.
- For this thought paper, consider the idea that one of the effects of commodity fetishism is that consumers, in their adulation for a certain product, or in their search for a good deal, forget about the human cost of production. In the spirit of this idea, watch two online documentaries about global factory work and explain what you discover about the global cost of production around the world. Some documentaries you might watch are “Made in Bangladesh the Fifth Estate” (there’s a follow up to this one called “When the Cameras Went Away, Made in Bangladesh”), “Made in Bangladesh, Faultlines” (this one is different from the first one), “Santa’s Workshop”, “Production Line to Picket Line”, “Digital Handicraft,” “Fast Fashion,” or “American Factory” (this one’s a little different than the others). If you know of a documentary not listed here, feel free to use it as one of the two. In your discussion of the documentaries you watch, please cite some specific instances in the films that revealed to you something important about the costs of global production, and discuss how the documentaries present either similar or contrasting points of view on the issue.
- Choose a product you own and try to discover where it was made, and whether or not the conditions of its production are similar to those described in either of the documentaries you watched—for items of clothing, the place of production is usually listed on the label; for other products, you may have to scrutinize the packaging a little more closely to discover where it was made.
You may complete all this as one paper with regular paragraph breaks, or you may do each part of the paper separately, with separate headings, and without transitions between the separate tasks