Apple Manufacturing in China Essay

Apple Manufacturing in China Essay

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Few people second guess Apple or their products, their image is well-maintained and the products are widely owned by people of all kinds. However, the process of making these much beloved iPhones and iPads is widely overshadowed by the company’s rate of constant innovation. In a series of articles by The New York Times, journalists attempt to unmask the controversial use of overseas manufacturers indicate a true crisis; a labor-power problem which abuses foreign workers as well as harming mid-wage jobs of consumers in the U.S. Many different lenses can be used to further analyze the structures, relationships and interactions that characterize this phenomena. Figures such as C. Wright Mills, Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, Pierre Bourdieu, Immanuel Wallerstein and Leslie Sklair.
The Sociological Imagination was the work in which C. Wright Mills introduced the study of society: sociology. Grasping large scale social trends lends a greater understanding to the actions of people, groups and nations. To try to understand why the entire Apple company shifted business to China, one must utilize sociology to look beyond purely economic motives and locate our position in human history, “the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances” (SI, p. 1). Apple argues that the reason for overseas manufacturing is in the flexibility, diligence, industrial skills and low cost of the foreign factory worker. One could argue that a person is a person and being Chinese does not make a human more physically capable of over 60 hour work weeks than the average worker in the U.S....

... middle of paper ... but do not fit into a proletariat class: they are the consumers who work service jobs. Assembly and manufacturing jobs left the U.S. during a period of deindustrialization and moved overseas, creating a transnational capitalist class with U.S. workers torn between Marx’s “petit bourgeoisie” and the proletariat worker, Sklair defines them as a fraction of the capitalist class who share mutual interests and lead similar lifestyles to the corporate fraction of modern capitalists. The Chinese worker is a tool in the perpetuation of Sklair’s “culture-ideology of consumerism” where consumers in the U.S. care more about buying the latest iPhone than about workers’ conditions in Foxconn Technologies in China.

Works Cited

SI: The Sociological Imagination
GI: The German Ideology
WLC: Wage, Labor and Capital
CST: Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots

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