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Inside Toyland

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520939493
Size: 47.13 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: 40.90 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: 45.85 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"

Beyond Caring

Author: Daniel F. Chambliss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226100715
Size: 28.11 MB
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Vividly documenting the real world of the contemporary hospital, its nurses, and their moral and ethical crises, Dan Chambliss offers a sobering revelation of the forces shaping moral decisions in our hospitals. Based on more than ten years' field research, Beyond Caring is filled with eyewitness accounts and personal stories demonstrating how nurses turn the awesome into the routine. It shows how patients, many weak and helpless, too often become objects of the bureaucratic machinery of the health care system and how ethics decisions, once the dilemmas of troubled individuals, become the setting for political turf battles between occupational interest groups. The result is a compelling combination of realism and a powerful theoretical argument about moral life in large organizations.

Beyond The Boycott

Author: Gay W. Seidman
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610444884
Size: 18.90 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

Longing And Belonging

Author: Allison J. Pugh
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520258436
Size: 40.15 MB
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Looks at children's desire for the latest and newest toy and the parents who continue to supply them.

Gender Differences At Work

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520074254
Size: 67.64 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

Still A Man S World

Author: Christine L. Williams
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520087879
Size: 17.23 MB
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

The Big Rig

Author: Steve Viscelli
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520962710
Size: 53.36 MB
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Long-haul trucks have been described as sweatshops on wheels. The typical long-haul trucker works the equivalent of two full-time jobs, often for little more than minimum wage. But it wasn’t always this way. Trucking used to be one of the best working-class jobs in the United States. The Big Rig explains how this massive degradation in the quality of work has occurred, and how companies achieve a compliant and dedicated workforce despite it. Drawing on more than 100 in-depth interviews and years of extensive observation, including six months training and working as a long-haul trucker, Viscelli explains in detail how labor is recruited, trained, and used in the industry. He then shows how inexperienced workers are convinced to lease a truck and to work as independent contractors. He explains how deregulation and collective action by employers transformed trucking’s labor markets--once dominated by the largest and most powerful union in US history--into an important example of the costs of contemporary labor markets for workers and the general public.

On Gender Labor And Inequality

Author: Ruth Milkman
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252098587
Size: 70.80 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.