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Inside Toyland

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520939493
Size: 57.16 MB
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"I got my first job working in a toy store when I was 41 years old." So begins sociologist Christine Williams's description of her stint as a low-wage worker at two national toy store chains: one upscale shop and one big box outlet. In this provocative, perceptive, and lively book, studded with rich observations from the shop floor, Williams chronicles her experiences as a cashier, salesperson, and stocker and provides broad-ranging, often startling, insights into the social impact of shopping for toys. Taking a new look at what selling and buying for kids are all about, she illuminates the politics of how we shop, exposes the realities of low-wage retail work, and discovers how class, race, and gender manifest and reproduce themselves in our shopping-mall culture. Despite their differences, Williams finds that both toy stores perpetuate social inequality in a variety of ways. She observes that workers are often assigned to different tasks and functions on the basis of gender and race; that racial dynamics between black staff and white customers can play out in complex and intense ways; that unions can't protect workers from harassment from supervisors or demeaning customers even in the upscale toy store. And she discovers how lessons that adults teach to children about shopping can legitimize economic and social hierarchies. In the end, however, Inside Toyland is not an anticonsumer diatribe. Williams discusses specific changes in labor law and in the organization of the retail industry that can better promote social justice.

Inside Toyland

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520247175
Size: 32.19 MB
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This is a Barbara Ehrenreich-like examination of working and shopping at two different toy stores that underlines how class and race play out in this country's shopping mall culture.

Inside Toyland

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520247161
Size: 31.55 MB
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"Why do white women shoppers more often refuse to check their bags at the counter than African American or Latina women shoppers do? Why do male shoppers act more annoyed at having to be in the store than their female counterparts? Based on her experiences working in two toy stores, Christine Williams offers a cornucopia of illuminating observations. By focusing on the various ways gender, race and class influence how we shop and sell, she exposes the concept and ideal of consumer citizenship. In this, Williams give us an important idea and an original angle of vision."--Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of "The Commercialization of Intimate Life," and editor (with Barbara Ehrenreich) of "Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy" "In this brilliant book Williams lays bare the social complexities of shopping for toys in America. She describes how shopping and working in toy stores are shaped by race, class and gender, and how children are taught how to consume. This is sociology at its best-laying bare the intricate nature of everyday life, showing us how the world can be different and better, all the while documenting the human drama that swirls around us. This book will change the way you shop, and the way you think about consumerism, inequality and the nature of 21st century American life."--Mary C. Waters, author of "Ethnic Options: Choosing Ethnic Identities in America" "Williams doesn't just talk about consumption. She goes out and gets herself tough jobs selling toys, and comes back to tell the rest of us what selling and buying for kids are all about. Readers who care little about social scientific treatments of consumption will nevertheless learn from her lively account. Specialists will rapidly adopt her stories, observations, and arguments."--Viviana Zelizer, author of "The Purchase of Intimacy" "Christine Williams has really gotten inside the big box selling machines of our day to reveal for all of us the strange, perverse logic of work, authority and sales in a retail industry driven by ethnic, gender, and class hierarchies. Read this book and you'll never buy another toy without thinking about the men and women who put it on the shelf!"--Nelson Lichtenstein, editor of "Wal-Mart: the Face of 21st Century Capitalism"

Longing And Belonging

Author: Allison J. Pugh
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520258436
Size: 79.51 MB
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Looks at children's desire for the latest and newest toy and the parents who continue to supply them.

Beyond The Boycott

Author: Gay W. Seidman
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610444884
Size: 22.93 MB
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As the world economy becomes increasingly integrated, companies can shift production to wherever wages are lowest and unions weakest. How can workers defend their rights in an era of mobile capital? With national governments forced to compete for foreign investment by rolling back legal protections for workers, fair trade advocates are enlisting consumers to put market pressure on companies to treat their workers fairly. In Beyond the Boycott, sociologist Gay Seidman asks whether this non-governmental approach can reverse the “race to the bottom” in global labor standards. Beyond the Boycott examines three campaigns in which activists successfully used the threat of a consumer boycott to pressure companies to accept voluntary codes of conduct and independent monitoring of work sites. The voluntary Sullivan Code required American corporations operating in apartheid-era South Africa to improve treatment of their workers; in India, the Rugmark inspection team provides ‘social labels’ for handknotted carpets made without child labor; and in Guatemala, COVERCO monitors conditions in factories producing clothing under contract for major American brands. Seidman compares these cases to explore the ingredients of successful campaigns, as well as the inherent limitations facing voluntary monitoring schemes. Despite activists’ emphasis on educating individual consumers to support ethical companies, Seidman finds that, in practice, they have been most successful when they mobilized institutions—such as universities, churches, and shareholder organizations. Moreover, although activists tend to dismiss states’ capabilities, all three cases involved governmental threats of trade sanctions against companies and countries with poor labor records. Finally, Seidman points to an intractable difficulty of independent workplace monitoring: since consumers rarely distinguish between monitoring schemes and labels, companies can hand pick monitoring organizations, selecting those with the lowest standards for working conditions and the least aggressive inspections. Transnational consumer movements can increase the bargaining power of the global workforce, Seidman argues, but they cannot replace national governments or local campaigns to expand the meaning of citizenship. As trade and capital move across borders in growing volume and with greater speed, civil society and human rights movements are also becoming more global. Highly original and thought-provoking, Beyond the Boycott vividly depicts the contemporary movement to humanize globalization—its present and its possible future. A Volume in the American Sociological Association’s Rose Series in Sociology

Gender Differences At Work

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520074254
Size: 74.19 MB
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Examines the stereotypes of "masculine" and "feminine" occupations, and discusses the people who cross the "gender line" and work in nontraditional jobs

Race And The Invisible Hand

Author: Deirdre Royster
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520937376
Size: 77.95 MB
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From the time of Booker T. Washington to today, and William Julius Wilson, the advice dispensed to young black men has invariably been, "Get a trade." Deirdre Royster has put this folk wisdom to an empirical test—and, in Race and the Invisible Hand, exposes the subtleties and discrepancies of a workplace that favors the white job-seeker over the black. At the heart of this study is the question: Is there something about young black men that makes them less desirable as workers than their white peers? And if not, then why do black men trail white men in earnings and employment rates? Royster seeks an answer in the experiences of 25 black and 25 white men who graduated from the same vocational school and sought jobs in the same blue-collar labor market in the early 1990s. After seriously examining the educational performances, work ethics, and values of the black men for unique deficiencies, her study reveals the greatest difference between young black and white men—access to the kinds of contacts that really help in the job search and entry process.

Chocolate Women And Empire

Author: Emma Robertson
Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9780719077777
Size: 17.84 MB
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From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Chocolat, from romantic gift to guilty indulgence, chocolate has a special place in Western popular culture. But what are the hidden histories behind this luxurious commodity? This book examines chocolate production from cocoa bean to chocolate box, illuminating the dynamics of gender, race and empire which have structured the cocoa chain. Using a varied range of sources, and drawing on the author’s own relationship to the industry, this book reconnects the people and places at different stages of chocolate production. Emma Robertson stresses the need to recognize the complex histories of empire and labor which have made such pleasurable consumption possible. Chocolate, Women and Empire offers exciting new insights into the lives of women workers in a global industry. It will be invaluable to historians of British imperialism as well as to students of Women’s and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies and Business Studies.

Still A Man S World

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520087879
Size: 28.46 MB
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

On Gender Labor And Inequality

Author: Ruth Milkman
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252098587
Size: 51.15 MB
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Ruth Milkman's groundbreaking research in women's labor history has contributed important perspectives on work and unionism in the United States. On Gender, Labor, and Inequality presents four decades of Milkman's essential writings, tracing the parallel evolutions of her ideas and the field she helped define. Milkman's introduction frames a career-spanning scholarly project: her interrogation of historical and contemporary intersections of class and gender inequalities in the workplace, and the efforts to challenge those inequalities. Early chapters focus on her pioneering work on women's labor during the Great Depression and the World War II years. In the book's second half, Milkman turns to the past fifty years, a period that saw a dramatic decline in gender inequality even as growing class imbalances created greater-than-ever class disparity among women. She concludes with a previously unpublished essay comparing the impact of the Great Depression and the Great Recession on women workers.