Alyssa Dunn – “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” Reaction

Through his use of imagery, Daisey is able to emotionally and mentally “transport” the listener to the factories in China.  He recounts all of the Chinese workers’ stories in such a manner that you cannot help but feel disappointed in the ways of the world — that people work in trying conditions in another country when those same conditions would not be considered acceptable in the US, one of the very countries who enjoys the products of the extreme labor.  It raises the question of ethics that was presented in the other readings.  Different conclusions regarding the existence of these practices would be reached when taking a deontological, consequential, or virtue ethics approach.

The podcast caused me to think more about the origins of the products that I use every day.  Early in the podcast, Ira Glass states that members of American society know where their commodities come from, especially with the presence of labels such as “Made in China”.  However, it seemed that he was also suggesting that strictly knowing the location from which these goods come is not enough. Mike Daisey’s story gives more insight into how products that are as widely known as Apple products were created. He forced me, as a listener, to think about the item’s origin in its entirety rather than in such broad geographical terms. The fact that this is a somewhat novel thought leads me to believe that the relationships we as Americans have with our products are so commonplace and expected that we do not think about what the products’ “lives” were like before they came to be in our possession.  We only conceptualize our products as items in our current situations and environments–as things that belong to us.  Maybe with a little more sociological imagination, we could think of technological innovations in terms that precede the time in which they became ours: not only as the iPads and gadgets that are so familiar to us, but also as the screens, buttons, and metal parts that workers in China meticulously assembled for our use.


4 thoughts on “Alyssa Dunn – “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” Reaction

  1. Hooray! Lots of responses. Now go ahead and comment on others.


    I like your emphasis on how products are made. Its a good question. I also like how you used italics

  2. I like how you considered the personification of products. That we, as American consumers, don’t think about the past “lives” of the products. But it seems to me that we also lack personification of the people making these products. As Daisey declares early in the presentation, he figured his iPad was made by a robot. I think that assumption is commonplace among US consumers. But the real life people who assemble these products, in the minds of the end-users, seem to be just products. I think this dichotomy is very interesting.

  3. I agree with your point about not taking into consideration the lives of our products before we own them. I don’t think I have ever thought about where my iPhone or iPad or macbook came from. Who’s hands put together the tiny pieces that make up the machines that make my life so much easier? Looking around my room, there are many other gadgets that probably had similar beginnings. The label “made in China” is so common that we never take a minute to think about what it actually means.

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