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...And who sewed your clothes?: Alienation in the time of division of labour – A Marxist analysis on two contemporary Swedish fashion brands
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Fashion Studies.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with questions of Marx’s concept of alienation in regards to the semi-aware state of it in contemporary society. In the fashion industry, one of the most globalised businesses, the supply chains are getting larger, tasks are being outsourced and labour is divided on several dozens of workers involved, relationships are socially and geographically dispersed. Hence, companies establish departments for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and by this “cleaning” the supply chain according to international laws and conventions. Division of labour fragments the supply chains and third parties are in charge to audit and inspect factory sites, reporting the findings to the company’s CSR manager and by this increasing transparency and authenticity. Meanwhile being unaware of the fact that alienation happens in a definitive state in the fashion industry, companies counteract not only by communication their endeavour which CSR is executing but also by publishing CSR agendas and policies online. This phenomenon is demonstrated on two Swedish fashion brands, Filippa K and Cheap Monday. After all, I argue, Marx might be challenged in various points of his theory, however, he appears not being completely wrong when it comes to alienation. Further, I claim, that the old-fashioned (and forgotten?) theory of alienation ought to be revived for the understanding of issues on the production side, branding narratives and storytelling marketing strategies as well as end-consumers increasing awareness and education in such realms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 48 p.
Keyword [en]
alienation, estrangement, Corporate Social Responsiblity (CSR), fashion, supply chain, division of labour, branding narratives
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-77533OAI: diva2:533640
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-06-14 Created: 2012-06-14 Last updated: 2012-06-14Bibliographically approved

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