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Disposable People, Kevin Bales - Book Report/Review Example

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The book entitled Disposable People by Kevin Bales makes the shocking point that “slavery is not a horror safely consigned to the past” (Bales 3). Despite the comfort and wealth that most people in Europe and the United States enjoy at the present time, there is a dark…
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Disposable People, Kevin Bales

Download file to see previous pages... The book describes what this new slavery is like and traces the stories of individuals who have suffered this fate in recent years and who come from different parts of the world including Thailand, Mauritania, Brazil, Pakistan and India.
The author’s strategy is to tell the stories of individuals, describing what happened to them and how it has affected their lives. In each case there is a detailed description of a typical day under slavery, often using the person’s own words to relate tales of beatings and torture, as well as impossibly long working hours and inhuman living conditions. In the case of Siri from Thailand (34-38), for example, the young woman was forced to be a prostitute and her lifestyle is described in detail. This method is a way of giving voice to the suffering of people who would otherwise not be heard, and it allows the reader to form a realistic impression of the severity of the situation.
After the human stories have been related, the author goes on to analyse the bigger issues that contribute to the growing problem of new slavery. In the case of Mauritania, for example, which the author describes as “the easiest place to see slavery” (97) there appears to be a national institution of slavery, in which the government not only condones, but actively supports slave labor in order to construct new cities on the cheap. The rigid class hierarchy in Mauritania is described, and the economic dependence of slaves upon their masters is illustrated in the case of Bilal, who dreams of receiving a proper salary, but is trapped in slavery because his master will never fulfil even this modest wish. Again, this personal story brings to life the desperation and hopelessness of slaves in a country where escaped slaves can be “hunted down and killed by their masters” (103) with impunity.
In the preface to the 12th edition the author states that in terms of research method he “wanted more than ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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