Debate—Opportunity or Oppression?

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Industrialization and globalization are driving the production and consumption of cheap goods. Anthropologists can examine how cultures both influence and are influenced by industrialization and globalization. As evident in the assigned articles and video, industrialization and globalization can separate the contexts of consumption and production. Western countries as mass consumers are shielded from the circumstances of the producers in less developed countries, such as worker exploitation and changes in social structures.

In this discussion, you will examine the effects of industrialization and globalization through an anthropologist’s lens using the concept of cultural relativism. The discussion will take the form of a debate in which you will examine sweatshops—places where garments are made quite cheaply, usually in less developed countries—as either places that offer valuable opportunities to workers or places that oppress workers.

Assigned Position for Debate: Sweatshops offer opportunities for workers

1.Explain how industrialization and globalization—including technological innovation—contribute to the existence of sweatshops.

2.Defend your assigned position, citing specific information from the provided resources.

3.Use clear statements as to how cultural relativism influences your position.

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