Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   Smiling and Lying: Corporate Evasions of Responsibility Regarding Global Sweatshops
Author:   heidi michele williams
College:   Liberal Arts
Degree Program:   Sociology, M.A.
Degree:   Master of Arts
Committee Director:   Dr. Lynda Ann Ewen
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   4/23/03

Throughout the 1990’s the presence of global sweatshops has continued to expand and encompass every realm of daily life. More and more corporations have continued to move their manufacturing production to countries that have lax labor laws and few restrictions on the environment. This paper seeks to provide insight on why corporations continue to transcend boundaries; a historical review of the Industrial Revolution and how it is parallel to the current conditions faced in the Third World; brief background information on the three corporations analyzed; and an analysis of three corporations’, Nike, The Gap and Disney, Codes of Conduct and their social responsibility pages, all found on their websites. This study analyzes the ways in which these three companies rationalize their manufacturing practices in the global sweatshop industry, using the sociological conceptualization of C. Wright Mills. The focus of the paper is on the areas of low wages, excessive hours, and unsafe working conditions, including health and safety, and ventilation. The paper concludes with a call to action to those interested in stopping the ever present oppression and exploitation of global workers. 

Download Document:   williams-heidi-2003-ma.pdf