As morning breaks on this busiest shopping day of the year, workers at the biggest retailer in the world are already on strike. On this day, we look back at an article from the Review of Radical Political Economics which uses Wal-Mart as a case study to raise curiosity about the politics of globalization and how they affect your everyday life:
This teaching case study aims to draw out discussion in a variety of classes about the responsibilities of large corporations and their role in society. The authors provide a profile and a set of questions about Wal-Mart, the largest corporation in the world. Ultimately, the purpose of the study is to provoke discussions about the marketplace, social welfare, cultural homogenization, labor, and economic structure and agency in the context of expanding global corporate influence in society.
Click here to read the article, “Wal-Mart or World-Mart? A Teaching Case Study,” published by Peter Jacques, Rebecca Thomas, Daniel Foster, Jennifer McCann and Matthew Tunno in the December 2003 issue, and here to read new articles from the Review of Radical Political Economics.
I wrote WORLD-MART when I worked as a manager for a large, corporate retail chain. The experience was a huge eye-opener, to say the very least. I found that there was a ridiculous disparity between workers’ pay, manager’s pay, and that of the “corporates” at the top of the food chain. I remember once sitting in a managers’ meeting, fuming at the fact that the company had decided to spend ten MILLION dollars to change their storefront signs all across the country–and yet was too cheap to pay their lower management anymore than ten to twelve dollars an hour (capped).… Read more »
Thanks, Lisa. This sounds like an interesting read and a relevant one. Though it’s a scenario perhaps as frightening as that of “1984,” it certainly hits close to home.
Please check out today’s post on getting folks to act on climate change, too: http://bit.ly/V2PmTm
I would like to encourage you to check out the novel, WORLD-MART, which, among other things, speculates a future in which the world has become a corporatacracy.