Re: Nate's interesting question

Date: Sun Mar 06 2005 - 16:35:45 PST

>1) Two sets of questions here. First, in what senses and under what
>conditions is child labor equivalent to slavery? Second, how is it
>distinguished from adult labor under what conditions vis a vis slavery
>and for whom?
I think they are often difficult to distinquish. Kevin Bales does a good
job at this and distinquishes old slavery from new. There is of course
child labor that includes many criteria for new slavery minus the ownership.

        Old Slavery

    * Legal ownership is asserted,
    * high purchase cost,
    * low profits,
    * shortage of potential slaves,
    * long-term relationship,
    * slaves maintained,
    * ethnic differences important

        New Slavery

    * Legal ownership avoided,
    * very low purchase cost,
    * very high profits,
    * surplus of potential slaves,
    * short-term relationship,
    * slaves disposable,
    * ethnic differences not important

>2) Help me out with some examples here. I spent a good deal of time
>working in West Africa where three centuries ago Africans enslaved
>each other before schooling ever arrived, then Europeans enslaved
>Africans, then Europeans brought schooling (some of it to some
>Africans in some parts of Africa). Is it genocidal civil war that is
>the deconstructing agent you are referring to? AIDS? I saw more child
>labor than schooling where I worked when schooling was at its apex, so
>I am having difficulty finding the historical narrative you are
>indicating. There is a huge amount of slavery taking place,
>quite literally, in the US today and we have formal education stuffed
>into every kid's available orifices. I am simply confused by the
>causal connections you are indicating.
It is not enough for schooling to simply exist alonglide, I think it is
compulsory education that is key. An example off the top of my head is
Kenya that had a degree of compulsay schooling but when that was
"deconstructed" (remember the 90's) child slavery emerged stronger than
ever. Unicef, UN Right of the Child (US. still hasn't signed) and Bales
organization Free the Slaves have various
examples that link lack of compusary schooling to child labor.

Come on Mike what do you honestly think would happen to "undocumented
children" if primary and secondary education were not compulsory.
These kids travel around the country - California to Wisconsin and back
again, but at least there is some degree of hope via education. The
recent study I read from one of the computer companies , why are
computer companies wrtiting educational studies anyway - about the
dismal state of California education was depressing in deed. At least
you'll soon get rid of junk food.

Maybe its all in the eye of the beholder. I remember reading Cultural
Psychology - way back - seeing the African research as supporting
Luria's thesis, but was then taken back by your final arguments. I tend
to see "schooling" much more optimistically, but it would be difficult
not to and still go to work in the morning. I also live in a district
where no child left behind has pushed curriculum in the "balanced
literacy" direction.

Email: willthereallsvpleasespeakup who-is-at

"The zone of proximal development defines those functions that have not yet matured but are in the process of maturation, functions that will mature tomorrow but are currently in an embryonic state. These functions could be termed the buds or flowers of development rather than the "fruits" of development. The actual developmental level characterizes mental development retrospectively, while the zone of proximal development characterizes mental development prospectively." - L.S.V.

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