You should prepare a commodity chain analysis paper that considers the impact of the commodity on the individual worker, at the points of production or distribution, or individual consumer. The paper should outline the commodity chain for a product as specifically as possible (try to identify particular commodities and not the generic commodity if possible).
o Section 1. Introduction (Introduce topic and describe its context) Narrow your
focus to a specific product. For example, while coffee can be grown, processed and sold as a mass commodity, you are focusing on Costa Rican fair trade coffee.
o Section 2. Commodity Chain Description Try to trace out all of the factors in its
production, distribution, and consumption – what resources are necessary for this
Spring 2020 – Anth 115 4
product to reach you? What institutions or types of companies are involved? What is it? How is it made/grown? Where? By whom? How is it distributed? Where? By Whom? How is it consumed? Where? What is the audience?
o Section 3. Cultural Meaning of Product What is the social meaning of the
product? You will have two perspectives–a personal and an analytical lens. a. Write a brief description of this product’s role in your life (or of a person you know and have talked to about the product). Was it a spur-of-the-moment purchase? A daily lunchtime item? A necessity? A luxury? b. Does the commodity have different meanings to different audiences? Try to include a cross-cultural example of how this product is used.
o Section 4. Focal Area Chose an impact area and explore it in more depth. You
can select different regions of the world or different focal areas. For example, your product may create a problem, or reflect an attempt to solve a problem with worker rights, ethnic empowerment, inequality, worker conditions, decline of health/wellbeing or environmental degradation. Summarize in a paragraph or two some of the issues the impacted group faces. What is the impact? Who is impacted? Where? (For example, the websites of the manufacturer and http://www.sweatshopwatch.org or www.globalexchange.org are excellent places to start for a topic such as worker conditions). If you cannot locate information on the specific product, find information relevant to the generic class of goods.
o Section 5. Mitigation What actions are being taken to lessen the impacts outlined
above? Are the efforts taking the complete system into account?
o Section 6. References. Use APA or Turabian Chicago author-date to cite your
reference in text and at the end of the paper. Note: In the heading of the paper you will include your name, section, GAP topic and reference style.
Your paper should be at least 5 pages (including reference page), typed and double- spaced.
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