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Dismissing classMedia representations of workers’ conditions in the Global South

Authors
  • Cotal San Martin, Vladimir1
  • 1 Örebro University, Sweden , (Sweden)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nordicom Review
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Apr 07, 2021
Volume
42
Issue
s3
Pages
35–55
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/nor-2021-0025
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Neoliberal globalisation has expanded transnational corporations’ (TNCs) boundaries of operation and sphere of exploitation, particularly in the Global South where much of the production of traditional TNC manufacturing now occurs. In this article, using a longitudinal approach, I conduct a detailed critical discourse analysis of a large Swedish press corpus reporting on TNC activities in Global South countries. The analysis suggests that the issue of workers’ conditions is made relevant to the Swedish public through a “consumer framework” that not only confers proximity and relevance on the topic, but also effectively recontextualises agency and responsibility towards particular or individual social actors, obscuring the class dimension of labour relations and global production. Moreover, rooted in a highly problematic colonial imagery, exploitation in the Global South is seen as a “cultural problem” of “them” rather than a problem related to the social and spatial relations of global capitalism.

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