Cutting Into The Meatpacking Line By Deborah Fink

analytical Essay
1041 words
1041 words

In America today, race/ethnicity, class categorization, and gender inequalities are just some of the most controversial issues that have created social division in every facet of our society. Gender inequality for one, remains a significant issue from the past up to this day. Looking at history, women have struggled to gain equal rights as well as equal pay against their male counterpart. As described in her book, “Cutting into the Meatpacking Line”, Deborah Fink detailed the inequalities against women and ethnic groups in the meatpacking plant where she had a first-hand experience as a worker. Furthermore, capitalism played an important role in the inequalities in race, gender, culture, and ethnicity, and it has also legitimized the disparities …show more content…

Fink explained that the title of her book “describes the painful and extended process by which women and ethnic minorities inserted themselves into the meatpacking workforce and redefined the struggle for recognition of workers’ rights”, (Fink, p. 3). Fink detailed that because the majority of the early meatpacking industry was centered mainly in the Midwestern cities which grew in part from receiving government help and contracts, the government then had some influence over labor in these packinghouse plants. Government regulations has strengthened the unions, improved the workers’ compensation, and “improved the conditions on their production floors”, (Fink, p.193). Furthermore, Fink also described that the entrance of Iowa Beef Packers in the 1960’s has resulted in the shift of the packinghouses from urban to rural areas which later on resulted to the government pulling away from “labor and toward business” (Fink, p. 193) which eventually weakened the union. Moreover, when the power of the union degraded, so did the incomes and the conditions of the workers on the production floor. In addition, Fink also explored how the union’s ability to represent the wage workers in the packinghouse has eroded with the admission of women in the workforce during and after the World War II. Although the union added women in the workforce, they were treated not as men’s equals and were paid cheaply less than men. Furthermore, Fink added that “Women’s position in post-World War II packinghouse continued to erode until the situation came a head with a passage of the Civil Rights of 1964” (Fink, p. 194) which was supposed to stop gender bias in employment but did not. Similarly, Fink mentioned that “contempt for women facilitated the meatpackers’ use

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how race/ethnicity, class categorization, and gender inequalities have created social division in america.
  • Analyzes how vijay prashad compared polyculturalism to two other ideological approaches: the color blind approach and multiculturalism.
  • Analyzes how deborah fink's book "cutting into the meatpacking line" explores gender and racial inequalities that were occurring inside and outside the ibp plant.
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