Bibliographic Metadata

Political economy and business ethics of football production : how do female home-based workers contribute to global supply chains? / Farah Naz, M.A.
AuthorNaz, Farah
CensorBögenhold, Dieter ; Scalon, Celi
PublishedKlagenfurt, August 2016
Description217 Seiten : Diagramme
Institutional NoteAlpen Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Dissertation, 2016
Bibl. ReferenceOeBB
Document typeDissertation (PhD)
Keywords (DE)Capability Approach / Fähigkeitsansatz / Soziale Unternehmensverantwortung / CSR / Gender / Globalisation / Globale Lieferketten / Heimarbeit / Wohlbefinden
Keywords (EN)capability approach / gender / globalization / global supply chains / home-based work / well-being
Keywords (GND)Pakistan / Frau / Fußballherstellung / Heimarbeit / Politische Ökonomie / Wirtschaftsethik
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubk:1-28363 Persistent Identifier (URN)
 The work is publicly available
Political economy and business ethics of football production [2.66 mb]
Abstract (English)

Global opening of the space by means of economic globalization, regardless of its repeated promises, is lacking in commonly assumed uniform effects. This division is more pronounced in the modern production organization, where capital is locally unbound and free to move, but consequences of the move are grounded in locality and bound to stay. Therefore, it is increasingly important to understand the new workplace arrangements and the changing nature of associated economic responsibilities in a global system of production organization. This research is significant at this moment in time when there is a persistent and a substantial increase in female home-based work around the globe. One sign of the growing awareness about this problem is that many international brands are trying to address this issue in their supply chains through the introduction of ethical trading initiatives. Articulating a qualitative case study of the football industry of Pakistan, this research highlights that there is a clear gap between the theoretical stance on home-based work and the inner world view of the actors involved. Most of the academic and policy-oriented judgements on the issue of home-based work and economic responsibilities are Western-centric and homeworkers have limited meaning-generating and meaning-negotiating capacities in these existing debates. Consequently, global extraterritorial messages that are divorced from local everyday living experiences of homeworkers, rebound and cause more suffering despite good intentions. This study questions the existing approaches towards home-based work and presents an alternative discourse that stems from voicing the concerns and experiences of female homeworkers, which are too often voiceless groups. The underlying assumption is that exploring the multiplicity of contexts in which female homework is performed could facilitate a holistic understanding of the uniqueness of women's position in the international division of labour. It is argued that entrenched and pronounced issues of labour in developing countries bear little relevance for those located in the periphery when refracted through the theoretical and ideological lenses of economically advanced countries. Although industrial homework can be classified as precarious on various parameters (uncertain, unpredictable, and risky), it is nonetheless highly valued by female homeworkers within their existing opportunity structure. At first glance, it might seem odd that women's sense of well-being is enhanced by their involvement in a kind of work that at best could be described as insecure. However, the sense of well-being and the choices made by homeworkers are relational in the context of industrial home-based work performed by women in rural areas of Pakistan. The existing view of agency freedom and well-being in an absolute form, where they are understood in dichotomous terms such as victimization being used in opposition to well-being, is problematic to say the least. This dichotomy assumes that one can be present only in the absence of the other. However, this narrow and simplistic view of victimization as opposed to well-being fails to take into account the range of embodied experiences of struggle, resistance and strategic negotiation that female homeworkers make on a daily basis in their ongoing lives. Building on Sen's capability approach, data gathered through narrative life histories supports the notion that homework is not negative per se. Within the socially enacted value system, the mainstream economic view of informal home-based work as exploitative form of work that needs to be abolished sits uneasily with the sense of well-being of homeworkers who experience this newly gained income earning opportunity, in traditional agricultural societies where they used to work as unpaid family helpers, as a source of self-confidence and sense of self-worth. Data was collected through 10 in depth interviews, four focus group discussions and two narrative life history interviews. Exploring the individual life histories not only highlights the processes of challenging and negotiating norms but also shed light on structural constraints that impose real barriers to transformative potential of such actions. Homeworker's economic activity that is to an extent expression of their agency is curtailed by multiple institutional constraints such as gender, class, age, marital status, cultural normative values, existing physical infrastructure of society and their position within global system of production. Data reveals that homeworkers perceive their work as important source for development of some capabilities that are relevant for their overall well-being. However, a lack of collective action and support through public intervention is the major hurdle to realize the full potential of homework. Existing institutional constraints limit the transformative potential of their agency and call for institutional support to break the existing barrier to frame and claim their rights and enhance their capabilities associated with their well-being. Therefore, rather than looking at homework as a relic of former centuries and bringing it close to the status of illegitimate economic activity, it makes sense to acknowledge it as a new form of work in the existing division of employment. The services of female homeworkers should be enumerated in the national accounting system and they should be granted recognition as workers in official statistics. The evaluation of their contribution to the national economy and its recognition can bring positive change to the existing situation through making them more visible.

Abstract (German)

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