Geographies of Commodities

The objective of this assignment is to choose a manufactured consumer product that is meaningful to you and to read six academic articles relevant to this commodity.

 

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This is an annotated bibliography. For this assignment, you should identify and summarize SIX academic sources. Try to choose the most relevant sources. You should choose articles on the commodity or industry you are studying or general articles about commodity chains, commodity networks, or supply chains. You could also choose articles on issues relevant to your commodity or your argument about the commodity, such as articles on offshore production, sweatshop labour, ethical trade etc. The sources you choose should be scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters. You could also use government research reports on your industry or on issues relevant to your sector. Remember: be conscientious and critical in amassing and presenting the sources that formulate your argument.

For this assignment, include:

1. A two- page statement about your commodity, its importance (to you and more generally) and your main argument(s) about this commodity and its geography.

2. Six entries. Each entry should be approximately half a page in length and should include a full citation for the source in APA style. Each entry should summarize the main questions the article addresses and the main arguments that the author(s) are trying to make, as well as any relevant findings that help you understand your commodity. Feel free to add criticisms of this article, and reflect on whether and how it helps you to understand your commodity (or not). Make sure to outline how this source helps you to develop your main arguments. Each entry will be evaluated based on how clear the summary is and whether you identify the main arguments of the paper and whether you establish the relevance for your topic.

3. You should also include a one page conclusion that summarizes your major findings and argument about the commodity, the chain, and its geography.

Use 12- point font, Times, with one inch margins. Total length: 6 pages Double Spaced. This would work out to about 1700-2000 words.

In the process of reviewing your six articles, explain why the commodity is important to you and the role it plays in your life. Craft an argument about this commodity and its geography. What chain of activities brought this commodity to you? What is significant about these processes? Are they environmentally destructive? Do they perpetuate exploitative labour relations or gender, class, racial or geographic inequalities? Is the product’s image in advertising contradicted by its production processes? Is the product trying to foster new relationships between producers and consumers (i.e. through fair trade, local production, hand-made or craft production)? The aim of this assignment is not simply to describe the commodity chain/network. Rather, the goal is to analyze the processes involved in the production and consumption of the good from the perspective of economic geography. Include a discussion of the relationship between sites, explain why the commodity chain is organized the way that it is. What are the implications of this organization for workers? Environments? Consumers? Why is it important to examine this commodity chain? What geographies underpin this chain?

 

 

Possible aspects to consider in your analysis of each article :

design/ engineering marketing/advertising. retailing. Consumption . Production

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