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Clothed in Integrity

Weaving Just Cultural Relations and the Garment Industry

By Barbara Paleczny
Series Studies in Women and Religion Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889203402, 386 pages, November 2000
Ebook (PDF) : 9780889206564, 386 pages, January 2006

Table of contents

Table of Contents for Clothed in Integrity: Weaving Just Cultural Relations and the Garment Industry by Barbara Paleczny
Serious Implications for Faith Communities
My Entry into the Problem
Perspective and Purpose
Time Frame
Importance of Images and Symbols
Assumptions and Horizons
Part I: Identifying Relations of Ruling and Solidarity
1. Present Conditions of Garment Homeworking in Toronto: The Microeconomics of a Low-Wage Strategy
A Story of Exploitation
Exposing Some Myths
Protection of Homeworkers in Multiple Sectors
2. The Macroeconomics of Garment Homeworking: Homework in Its Historical Context
Homeworking in the Context of Expanding Capitalism
3. The Macroeconomics of Garment Homeworking: The International Web of Production and Feminist Analysis of the Relations of Ruling
The International Web of Production in the Garment Industry
Feminist Analysis of the Relations of Ruling in the Garment Industry
4. Transforming the Local Situation in Its Global Context
Fair Wages and Working Conditions for Homeworkers’ Coalition Campaign in Ontario
Core Issues Arising from Praxis
ILGWU Initiatives and Challenges
Webs of Solidarity Worldwide
Relations of Solidarity
Transition to Part II
Part II: Constructing Feminist Socio-economic Ethics as Transformative Theology
5. Horizon, Bias and Specificity/Difference Analysis Related to Homeworking
Horizon and Feminist Analysis
Forms of Bias and the Obstruction of Transformation
Specificity and Difference
6. Home Outside the Public Eye
The Myth of Women’s Place and Market Strategies
Social Construction of Gender and “Race” Relations
Implications for Socio-political Organization
Some Foundational Elements of a Framework to Restructure Society
Further Construction of an Integrative Framework
7. Discerning Elements for Socio-economic Ethics
A Radical, Global Task
Values as the Foundation for Alternate Choices
Difference and Specificity as a Gift of God
An Ethics of Integrity and Truth
Relating Ethical Imperatives and Economic Possibilities
Conclusion: Ethics, Sin and Grace
Location of Ethical Discourse and Norms of Justice Making
Difference and Specificity Analysis Intrinsic to Theological Praxis
Constructing Domestic Just Relations
Global Relations of Solidarity to Counteract Global Relations of Injustice
Integrating Images and Social Factors in Theological Endeavour


Barbara Paleczny, herself a daughter of garment workers, tugs at the threads of homeworking in the garment industry to reveal a low-wage strategy that rends the fabric of social integrity and exposes global trends. The resurgence of sweatshops affects the working poor in both first- and third-world countries.
Paleczny assesses the responsibility of transnational retailers for unacceptable wages and working conditions and describes historic shifts in the global context of garment production. After exploring systemic causes of poverty, relevant policy setting, and ethical foundations, Paleczny introduces both short- and long-range possibilities for transformation, emphasizing the collaborative nature of work.
Clothed in Integrity draws on feminist studies, alternative economics, and the ethical foundations proposed by Bernard Lonergan to fashion a constructive work in which Paleczny connects issues of societal meanings and values, moral imperatives, and economic feasibility. With candour, she shares personal stories of engagement in coalition work. Those who dwell on this text will find information, challenges, and inspiration to nurture their reflection, research, dialogue, and action.