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Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry Paperback – June 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press (June 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592133304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592133307
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] poignant expose of the environmental, public health and labor rights abuses of an industry that has come to symbolize progress and prosperity in the public eye. This broad anthology identifies the dark underbelly of the electronics revolution and seeks to ignite discussions between labor, environmentalist and human rights activists about how to address industry misconduct...a well-rounded understanding of challenges and struggles in the global electronics industry." Multinational Monitor "This is an excellent book. It is rare to see environment and labor issues brought together in a seamless fashion. This is an important contribution to the discussion of globalization and its effects--and to the understanding of the grassroots movements that have emerged in response."--Charles Levenstein, University of Massachusetts, Lowell "Challenging the Chip is ... an important work in chronicling the evolution of grassroots activism, corporate denial, and eventually, in some cases, corporate responsibility in the electronics industry." S E Journal "The editors have assembled an impressive collection of articles from leading academics and activists...Challenging the Chip judiciously uses photos, tables, charts, and diagrams with detailed explanations. In addition, the book is well documented with useful appendices." Multicultural Review "With twenty-five chapters, much of the value of this volume lies in the encyclopedic overview it provides of conditions in electronics manufacturing around the world...There are fascinating details strewn throughout the book...There is a valuable list of web resources and relevant organizations...The editors provide useful introductions to the volume and each section...but the strength of the book lies in the richness and variety of the empirical material rather than in any overarching explanations or insights. This book is an important intervention in significant public debate." Contemporary Sociology July 2007 "This sweeping, ambitious, highly substantive panorama of environmental outrages perpetrated by the electronics industry and its handmaiden governments and inspectorates is nothing if not concrete, literal, rich, and entirely convincing...Challenging the Chip is a valuable resource document, a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the substance of environmental changemaking in the 21st century." Environmental Politics August 2007 "Challenging the Chip is the story of those who valiantly fight to make the production of microchips a humane process and the products of chips safe for the environment... each of the essays provides valuable insight into one or more aspects of the chip industry... Challenging the Chip will be part of an effort to place the struggles of electronics workers front and center in the fight for social justice... It is certainly a must-read for any labor activist concerned with organizing the cutting edge of worldwide production: global electronics." Labor Studies Journal "Challenging the Chip is certainly the most comprehensive review of the social, health and environmental consequences of the electronics industry to date and provides a critical platform for developing new theoretical and empirical research on the political economy and ecology of the industry. The plethora of topics explored also highlights the multiplicity of disciplines that can contribute to debates about the chip industry, including the social sciences, public health, and environmental sciences. A most impressive feature of the book is the way in which it developed out of a collaborative partnership of intellectuals and activists with a shared vision of sustainability and justice. Overall, the book will be of interest to students of social science, environmental science, science and technology studies, political ecology, and anybody using a computer to read this book review." Electronic Green Journal

From the Publisher

A revealing look at the dark side of the technology industry --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on February 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Challenging the Chip" by Ted Smith, David Sonnenfeld and David Naguib Pellow (editors) is a collection of essays on the labor and environmental problems of the electronics industry. The thirty-plus contributors to the book were connected through a series of symposiums wherein this ambitious project was conceptualized. By describing their shared experiences, the authors succeed in articulating why the public must demand corporate accountability in order to gain economic and environmental sustainability.

The editors merit praise. The book contains over 25 articles but contains no weak material. The writers seem to have expressed a high degree of collegiality by voluntarily subjecting their work to extensive peer review, criticism and revision. The result is a remarkably even and high-quality series of essays that are characterized by ample research, insight and analysis. The editors also supply excellent introductions and expertly frame the key issues that are discussed in each section of the book.

The first section is titled, 'Global Electronics'. Seven articles describe how the production and distribution of electronics are organized on a global scale. We learn that multinational corporations tend to avoid social responsibility by exploiting workers in poor nations with either lax or non-enforced labor and environmental laws such as China, India, Thailand and more recently, countries in Eastern Europe. Oftentimes, the most vulnerable workers are subjected to subsistence wage relations without union representation and exposure to occupational health hazards without protection or compensation when illness ensues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
The editors take a peek behind the hitech glamour of the semiconductor industry. It is one of the most global of industries, with factories dispersed widely. But the book shows that working conditions can be hazardous at times. The reagents used in production are often highly reactive. One chapter on occupational safety describes many of these reagents, and studies done at various fabs. Notably, at IBM's, from which several researchers have looked at cancer rates and the effects on the reproductive abilities of female workers. Especially since fabs and assembly lines tended to favour hiring females.

Other chapters look at factories in Thailand, eastern Europe and India. The working conditions can sometimes be harsh, with many petty rules that severely circumscribe workers. Strikes have often resulted at the worst factories.

Overall, the book is a thoughtful counterpoint to IT's public image.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Magee on February 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After watching my health decline to the point of needing prescription drugs in my thirties, I started to wonder what was going on. I had worked with electrical, electronic, and computer systems since I was sixteen. This book explained a lot of things that I should have been told about during my college and degree courses. I can tell you that no one ever told me that electricity, electronics, and wireless radiation were toxic to the human in certain situations. I can also recommend the books "Light, Radiation, and You" by Dr. John Nash Ott and "The Invisible Disease" by Gunnni Nordstrom. I am back into good health after detoxifying from the toxins that I was exposed to.
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