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Clothed in Integrity

Weaving Just Cultural Relations and the Garment Industry

By Barbara Paleczny
Subjects Social Science, Women’s Studies, Philosophy, Ethics
Series Studies in Women and Religion Hide Details
Paperback : 9780889203402, 386 pages, November 2000

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.