ATH 111 Week 4 Discussion | Southern New Hampshire University

ATH 111 Week 4 Discussion | Southern New Hampshire University

4-1 Discussion: Debate—Opportunity or Oppression?


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As you learned in Module Four, industrialization is the process in which a society or country transforms itself from a primarily agriculture-based society into one based on the manufacturing of goods and services. Globalization reflects how the world economies are becoming more connected.

Industrialization and globalization are driving the production and consumption of cheap goods. Anthropologists can examine how cultures both influence and are influenced by industrialization and globalization. As evident in the assigned articles and video, industrialization and globalization can separate the contexts of consumption and production. Western countries as mass consumers are shielded from the circumstances of the producers in less developed countries, such as worker exploitation and changes in social structures.

In this discussion, you will examine the effects of industrialization and globalization through an anthropologist's lens using the concept of cultural relativism, which was first introduced in Module One. The discussion will take the form of a debate in which you will examine sweatshops—places where garments are made quite cheaply, usually in less developed countries—as either places that offer valuable opportunities to workers or places that oppress workers.

After reading and watching the required resources, you will craft an argument in support of the position assigned to you according to the first letter of your last name.

Refer to the table below to see which position you will take for the debate. This is based on the first letter of your last name.

First Letter of Last Name

Assigned Position for Debate


Sweatshops oppress workers


Sweatshops offer opportunities for workers

In your initial post, be sure to do the following:

·         Explain how industrialization and globalization—including technological innovation—contribute to the existence of sweatshops.

·         Defend your assigned position, citing specific information from the provided resources.

·         Use clear statements as to how cultural relativism influences your position.

Peer Response Guidance: Now, argue the other side by responding to the initial posts of at least two of your peers who were assigned the same position as yours. In your peer responses, however, you will argue the opposite position from that of your initial post. For example, if you were assigned the position that sweatshops offer opportunities for workers, then that is the position you would take in your initial post; in your peer responses, you would argue that sweatshops oppress workers. As with all classroom debates, everyone loves a good argument. But remember to be respectful; it is only a discussion.


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