Home > Free Essays > Sociology > Slavery > Slavery in “Disposable People” Book by Kevin Bales

Slavery in “Disposable People” Book by Kevin Bales Essay (Book Review)

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Feb 1st, 2022

Kevin Bales touches upon the problem of slavery in the modern world in his work Disposable People. Many people may think that slavery is the remnant of the past. Kevin Bales points out that modern people are more enslaved than in the past. He provides examples of modern slavery from Pakistan and Thailand to other countries. The book consists of seven chapters devoted to particular cases of slavery from different corners of the world.

Kevin Bales analyses five case studies in his work namely “sex slavery in Thailand; old-fashioned chattel slavery in Mauritania, with White Moor masters and Black slaves; charcoal-makers on the frontier in Brazil; brick-makers held inheritable debt-bondage in Pakistan, through fraud and dishonest accounting; and farmers in debt-bondage in India” (Yee, 2000). Bales presents the causes and results of these different types of slavery providing the experience of many individuals. He provides economic, political, and historical preconditions of slavery.

The key point of his book is that the phenomenon of slavery is impossible to be eradicated. Although some people consider themselves to be free, they do not even pay attention to the organizations or owners they depend on. Slavery develops in modern society more than in the past centuries. It is futile to look for the guilty of the spreading of slavery all over the world.

Bales has made profound research on many social phenomena captured in modern society. He has studied the current economic and political situations of the countries presented in his book that help him to present the phenomenon of slavery from different points of view. More than that, he refers to many historical sources in his book to present that the spreading of slavery is historically predetermined.

Bales differentiates two types of slavery in his book. The ‘old’ slavery presupposes the ethnic and racial divisions and legal ownership that has been developed since the pre-Civil War. The ‘new’ slavery is based on legal instruments that make other people enslaved. These legal instruments are contracts, loans, lending, and debts. If the slavery developed in the past was based on ethnic identities the modern slavery is based on the material state. Poor people are more vulnerable to becoming slaves and working for low wages. Modern slavery combines both types described by Kevin Bales. It covers not only individuals but the whole region. There are a lot of poor districts that are enslaved by rich people.

One of the main aims of Kevin Bales is the analysis and he tries to avoid sentiments in his book. He points out that it is very important to draw boundaries between slavery and poverty. He highlights this point of view in the following words: “slavery should not be confused with anything else: it is not prison labor, it is not all forms of child labor, it is not just being very poor and having few choices” (Bales 98). Nevertheless, he adds that these boundaries are quite fuzzy as far as modern slavery is often observed in poor countries than in developed ones. Kevin Bales do not criticize slaveholders in his book as far as morality is not the basic aim of his work. Slaveholders are not depicted as cruel and merciless owners who humble poor people. The notion of slavery is described as something inherited ethnical groups. The causes of slavery are found not in the cruelty of slaveholders but in the history of the nation (Book Review: Disposable People, 2011). More than that, the economic and political situation also should be taken into account as Kevin Bales points out. There are cases in modern society when people become slavery voluntarily. Nobody makes them loan money or conclude a contract making them dependable on other people.

Despite economic, political, and historical preconditions that may be considered as the causes of slavery Kevin Bales considers the law to be guilty in this phenomenon. If the law cannot protect people from being enslaved this law is failed. Apathy, corruption, and discrimination are good grounds for the development of slavery in modern society. The development of slavery is profitable for many countries in some way. The businessmen who discriminate against people paying them law wages have more profits for the development of their enterprise. It is an ordinary phenomenon when there are social divisions between the poor and the rich people. The high economic development presupposes in some way the development of ‘new’ slavery. Kevin Bales points out that slavery is quite difficult to get rid of completely. This phenomenon is inherited in human civilization. He states that “being free means more than just walking away from bondage” (Bales 253).

We may conclude that Kevin Bales has made profound research and provides several reasonable arguments supporting his ideas. This book is quite interesting for me as far as it presents the notion of slavery from economic, social, political, and historical points of view. This book is very useful for education, and it may be used during educational programs. Everyone interested in history should read this book.

Works Cited

Bales, Kevin. Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy, USA: University of California Press, 2004. Print.

Book Review: Disposable People 2011. Web.

Yee, Danny 2000, Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. Web.

This book review on Slavery in “Disposable People” Book by Kevin Bales was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Book Review sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, February 1). Slavery in "Disposable People" Book by Kevin Bales. https://ivypanda.com/essays/slavery-in-disposable-people-book-by-kevin-bales/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2022, February 1). Slavery in "Disposable People" Book by Kevin Bales. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/slavery-in-disposable-people-book-by-kevin-bales/

Work Cited

"Slavery in "Disposable People" Book by Kevin Bales." IvyPanda, 1 Feb. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/slavery-in-disposable-people-book-by-kevin-bales/.

1. IvyPanda. "Slavery in "Disposable People" Book by Kevin Bales." February 1, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/slavery-in-disposable-people-book-by-kevin-bales/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Slavery in "Disposable People" Book by Kevin Bales." February 1, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/slavery-in-disposable-people-book-by-kevin-bales/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "Slavery in "Disposable People" Book by Kevin Bales." February 1, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/slavery-in-disposable-people-book-by-kevin-bales/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'Slavery in "Disposable People" Book by Kevin Bales'. 1 February.

Powered by CiteTotal, online referencing maker
More related papers