Structural exploitation

Social Philosophy and Policy 29 (1):154-179 (2012)
It is commonly claimed that workers in sweatshops are wrongfully exploited by their employers. The economist's standard response to this claim is to point out that sweatshops provide their workers with tremendous benefits, more than most workers elsewhere in the economy receive and more than most of those who complain about sweatshop exploitation provide. Perhaps, though, the wrongfulness of sweatshop exploitation is to be found not in the discrete interaction between a sweatshop and its employees, but in the unjust political and economic institutions against which that interaction takes place. This paper tries to assess what role, if any, consideration of background injustice should play in the correct understanding of exploitation. Its answer, in brief, is that it should play fairly little. Structural injustice matters, of course, but it does not typically matter for determining whether a sweatshop is acting exploitatively, and it does not typically matter in a way that grounds any kind of special moral responsibility or fault on the part of sweatshops or the Multinational Enterprises with which they contract.
Keywords Exploitation  Sweatshops
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DOI 10.1017/S026505251100015X
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References found in this work BETA
Responsibility and Global Justice: A Social Connection Model.Iris Marion Young - 2006 - Social Philosophy and Policy 23 (1):102-130.
Exploitation.Alan Wertheimer - 1996 - Princeton University Press.
Needs Exploitation.Jeremy C. Snyder - 2008 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 11 (4):389-405.

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Citations of this work BETA
Global Labor Justice and the Limits of Economic Analysis.Joshua Preiss - 2014 - Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (1):55-83.
Emotional Labour: A Case of Gender-Specific Exploitation.Mirjam Müller - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-22.
Exploitation: A Primer.Nicholas Vrousalis - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
Exploitation and Demeaning Choices.Jeremy Snyder - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (4):345-360.

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