Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. xi-xiii

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Acknowledgements

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pp. xv-xvi

How grateful I am to all those who sew the clothes we wear and to those who work together in coalitions to bring fair wages and working conditions for them! Thank you to all those whose justice weaving drew me into collaborative research and campaigns. I note, in particular, The Homeworkers’ Association, The Coalition...

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Preface

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pp. xvii-xxxiv

Dylex controls Braemar, Fairweather/Fashion Rack, Club Monaco, Harry Rosen, L.A. Express, Thriftys, Tip Top Tailors/Canadian Clothiers, BiWay and Drug World. Manufacturing and retailing men and women’s clothing through fourteen chains operating 710 family clothing stores, Dylex tells customers...

Part I: Identifying Relations of Ruling and Solidarity

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1. Present Conditions of Garment Homeworking in Toronto: The Microeconomics of a Low-Wage Strategy

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pp. 3-16

While women’s need to earn an income has increased within double- and single-parent families, public workplace jobs in Ontario in all sectors have decreased. Even service jobs are suffering loss because of the North American Free Trade Agreement.1 Homeworking is being promoted as a key, corporate, flexible...

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2. The Macroeconomics of Garment Homeworking: Homework in Its Historical Context

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pp. 17-55

My parents’ story as garment workers reflects work trends in the province and stands as a reminder that homeworking is not new. Garment homeworking is particularly significant in the story of women’s work. Why are these women so poor when they work so hard? The story is intimately bound up with changes in the political, social...

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3. The Macroeconomics of Garment Homeworking: The International Web of Production and Feminist Analysis of the Relations of Ruling

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pp. 57-87

Garment production in Toronto happens within a global web with interlaced chains of processes and controls. I critique the relations of ruling which underline the international web of production as they affect garment homeworkers. The processes hidden behind purchases of clothing are global. They are also as local as each homeworker and each consumer...

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4. Transforming the Local Situation in Its Global Context

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pp. 89-129

That homeworkers are exploited is abundantly clear. What is less obvious is how to change the relations of ruling within the pyramid structure of the garment industry in order to create just relations, especially for homeworkers at the bottom. The Coalition for Fair Wages and Working Conditions for Homeworkers (Homework Coalition) took...

Part II: Constructing Feminist Socio-economic Ethics as Transformative Theology

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5. Horizon, Bias and Specificity/Difference Analysis Related to Homeworking

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pp. 133-166

The first step of identifying underlying core issues involves an exploration of horizon, bias and operative application of attitudes about specificity and difference. These make visible the connections among prevailing attitudes, myths and customs in a society which tolerates exploitation. First, I examine the dominant horizon to uncover presuppositions...

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6. Home Outside the Public Eye

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pp. 167-208

This chapter focuses on attitudes that have been ingrained widely enough to become structural causes of poverty for women and youth, especially regarding all work in homes and domestic labour beyond homes. I probe the meaning of Beverly Wildung Harrison’s critique that the public/private split legitimizes ‘‘both a capitalist mode of...

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7. Discerning Elements for Socio-economic Ethics

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pp. 209-273

Unmasking injustice in the corporate relations of the garment industry is part of a process of establishing justice not only through protective legislation and enforcement but also in our very ways of being and relating as whole societies. The very nature of the issues at hand involves making judgements and decisions at every turn. It is a work of...

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Conclusion

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pp. 275-289

Taking the perspectives of homeworkers and of those in solidarity with them opens up an inquiry of socio-economic relations from outside the ruling apparatus and from outside formally recognized economic theory. My perspective is also that of a consumer demanding justice in the clothing chain of...

Bibliography

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pp. 291-345

Index

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pp. 349-352