Objects of Desire: Feminist Inquiry, Transnational Feminism, and Global Fashion
U.S. anti-sweatshop discourse
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation examines the conventions used to frame and represent sweatshops in and to the U.S. Employing qualitative research methods this dissertation examines U.S. anti-sweatshop discourse, analyzing how the sweatshop and the sweatshop worker are made into exceptional objects of inquiry, and considers what kinds of truths and subjects are garnered from them. This dissertation argues that U.S. anti-sweatshop discourse frames sweatshops as an inherently foreign problem, and that this framing contributes to U.S. exceptionalism and savior ideology. This framing positions U.S. subjects as the primary agents of change whose relation to sweatshops is crucial to their eradication, and renders causal blame upon the racialized poor within the U.S. I argue that this framing undergirds the proliferation of new ethical markets that reproduce dislocation, dispossession, and displacement within U.S. borders via retail gentrification. Ultimately, this dissertation asks what truths are made possible through a mobilizing discourse whose foundational premise is contingent on the imagery of the sweatshop and the sweatshop worker.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Gender & Women’s Studies