Issues in Anthropology

Part A: Article and Documentary Reaction

The Maquilapolis documentary is an incredible documentary. It is an amazing film that exposes the tough times that big companies give to people. These companies could easily improve the standards of living of the workers through better, or at least fair wages, give them benefits so that when they get pollution-related illnesses they can be in a position to facilitate their own treatment, however, they do not.Nonetheless, I was especially impressed by the woman. In general, the film really opened my eyes to negative side of multinationals and made me think about all the goods I purchase which are a product of exploited labor.

With regards to the Apple article, I felt a need for labor regulations to be made an international issue, and it needs to be raised at various international levels and forums. It would be ideal if there existedinternational labor standards that could be enforced, as this would facilitate fair remuneration of all employees irrespective of where the factory is located. I just hope that some day, the multinationals will change the way they are doing business and employ ethical employment practices. Finally, I again hope that someday these factory workers would get a better treatment. It is simply unfair.

Part B: Profit Maximization as an Aspect of Free Trade

In economics one of the four main goals of conducting business is the profit maximization spur. Profit maximization also forms one of the key pillars of free trade. However, key factors that play a role in the attainment of this goal including the approach to production and the relationship between the various factors of production have resulted to many social externalities. In their quest to maximize this goal, most multinationals have abandoned a human sense of benevolent and humanity in exchange for a bigger bottom line and have adopted a sculpture approach to dealing with the workers.

The class articles have looked at the way women as well as children have been targeted by multinational companies for cheap labor and easy exploitation in their quest for bigger profit margins. Thishas includedhousing the workers in dilapidated work environments which can be likened to prison-like conditions as Annette Fuentes and Barbara Ehrenreich put it, and below minimal wages. These conditions are further worsened by the lack of representation or the failure for the setting up of labor unions who can bargain for better terms of engagement. Despite these being basic human rights, many multinationals deny them and through the help of the state the workers are further exploited so that these multinationals can maximize their profits. This search for profits continuously leads multinationals to target women and children as sources of cheap and docile labor to be exploited while young and fired as soon as their health begin to deteriorate. At the end of the end of the day, the wages go to further create and leave them in poverty.

In conclusion, in as much as free trade has gone towards facilitating the growth of many economies and creating great wealth to its owners, it has also brought with it greed, egocentrism and narcissism. Corporations have lost their sense of humaneness all in the pursuance of better profit margins. This is something that needs to change, and should in no way be justified either through the use of corporate social responsibility or economicrationalizations.



BARBOZA, D., & DUHIGG, C. (2012, January 25). In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from The New York Times:

Fuentes, A., & Ehrenreich , B. (1983). Women in the Global Factory. South End Press.

Torre, S. d., & Funari, V. (Directors). (2006). Maquilapolis: City of Factories [Motion Picture]. Retrieved August 1, 2014, from

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