Literature Review

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Involuntary Labor
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The difficulties and problems that low-wage workers face globally has been well documented many different ways. I reviewed a variety of literature on the topic and focused in on low-wage workers in Asia employed by Nike contacted factories. I read experiences of working low-wage jobs in America, and was able to relate these problems to workers in Asia. A lot of literature on this subject is written about the fear that is instilled in the workers and the fact that it is impossible to move up in the company. Keeping low-wages and long hours keeps the worker dependent on their job, nearly always living paycheck to paycheck. Keeping workers in debt as well as more drastic strategies such as confiscating employees passports are also methods companies use to suppress low-wage workers. These conditions make workers unable to change careers or find other work. Health issues and the problems factory workers face day-to-day is also well documented. Anthropological work has been done on this topic; researchers have lived and studied with factory workers in Asia and written about their experiences. These factory workers on the other side of the globe face many similar, often more extreme, problems that low-wage workers face in the United States. In Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America, Ehrenreich applies herself to low-wage work on reports on her findings. She learned facts that hold true for low-wage workers across the globe. Corporations take advantage of workers and management can often be physically and emotionally abusive. Finding work can be very difficult, so giving up your job is often not an option, even if you are being abused and underpaid. My review of literature on this topic brought many important ideas and issues to my attention. Companies in America and Asia manipulate and exploit low-wage workers for cheap labor and little thought or care is put into the employees well being or health. 

A certain issue that seemed less documented and more interesting to me was the idea of human trafficking of factory workers. My original idea was to research why factory workers, (ones who work in in Nike contracted factories specifically), work where they do. After learning from multiple articles that many workers are forced into labor, I delved deeper into the idea and uncovered research on human trafficking in factories. What I observed was that many articles touch on this idea, but there is a blank spot of research that is unexplored, centering on the idea of human tracking of factory workers in Asia.

My hypertext brings together two research topics, human trafficking and Nike factory conditions. I examine their connection and present a modest original analysis. I have gathered existing research and literature on low-wage factory workers as well as human trafficking. My hypertext presents these findings, showing the relationship between the two subjects.


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