Book: The Cultural and Political Intersection of Fair Trade and Justice

The Cultural and Political Intersection of Fair Trade and Justice: Managing a Global Industry

The Cultural and Political Intersection of Fair Trade and Justice: Managing a Global Industry

An interactive text and case study of justice and well-being.
In The Cultural and Political Intersection of Fair Trade and Justice, Stenn uses Amartya Sen’s theory of justice and Geert Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions to answer the question: ‘Is Fair Trade fair?’ This exciting new interactive volume focuses on a study of the effects of Fair Trade on indigenous women and enables studets to see how they effect them too. Stories are reported by the women themselves, which Stenn uses to develop a deeper understanding of Fair Trade, globalization, culture, and policy in building justice.

Each chapter is followed by an interactive exercise that enables readers to experientially apply the main themes of the chapter – whether participating in the development of a global database of consumer motivation information, interacting with local community organizations, or meeting entrepreneurs within one’s own community.  There are also reflection questions which deepen one’s thoughts and application of the chapter material.

This comparative study of Fair Trade and its effect on Bolivia’s Andean women, working independently in handicrafts and collaboratively in agriculture, analyzes how Fair Trade has grown to become a multi-billion dollar, global industry. Stenn’s 15 years of working with indigenous Andean women makes this in invaluable source for the study of Fair Trade and for Bolivia’s population.

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“Establishing more just economic exchange is at the heart of building an equitable world. Tamara Stenn does an admirable job of addressing this topic in a comprehensive study of Fair Trade that does not shy away from either its inherent complexities or contradictions but rather draws on social science theories to illuminate them. Situating Fair Trade within its cultural context – in this case, the Bolivian Andes – and local concepts of living well demonstrates that what it brings – particularly to women – goes far beyond the strictly economic. Innovative and creative exercises at the end of each chapter are an added bonus.” –Linda Farthing, author, From the Mines to the Streets: A Bolivian Activist’s Life and Bolivia on Balance: Evo and the Process of Change

“Fair Trade is one of those phrases every western coffee drinker has at least heard from time to time; here’s a serious examination of what those words really mean!” Bill McKibben, author, Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
“This gem of a book clarifies the pillars of fair trade and how the ideals of ‘trade not aid’ have evolved into guidelines, international organizations, and a diversified market niche. Stenn then goes deeper to offer an insider’s account. She shares the voices of knitters, coffee growers and others in Bolivia who are taking the basic elements of the world’s fair trade system and trying to make of them a just and enduring economy in their home communities. For students and scholars of fair trade, Stenn expertly lays out the challenges and ultimately the hope of fair trade.” – Rudolf J. Colloredo-Mansfeld, Professor and Chair, Anthropology Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
“In The Cultural and Political Intersection of Fair Trade and Justice, Tamara Stenn skillfully interweaves macro and micro perspectives of Fair Trade for understanding the complexities and opportunities for Fair Trade in the global market. Stern’s application of Amartya Sen’s positions on justice, plural grounding, and comparative broadening provide a unique and valuable contribution to Fair Trade scholarship. Based on Stenn’s grass-roots involvement and field research in Bolivia, she offers a rare and intimate view on how social, political, and economic context shape Fair Trade practice among Andean farmers and artisans. Thought provoking, end-of-chapter activities guide the reader toward deeper understanding and engagement in Fair Trade.” – Mary A. Littrell, Colorado State University – Fort Collins, USA

“Stenn spent fifteen years in the fair trade industry and in kinship with women Fair Traders on the ground in Bolivia. Now comes the gift of this extraordinary new book. Through the useful theoretical lenses of Sen and Hofstede—and illuminating case studies—we find ourselves on a nuanced, comprehensive journey far beneath the’Fair Trade’ logo on your chocolate-bar. Stenn shows a practical alternative to global-economics-as-usual, where an unsustainable growth-model is re-invented to prize community, conservation, and commerce alike.” – William Powers, author, Whispering in the Giant’s Ear: A Front-line Chronicle of Bolivia’s War on Globalization

“Tamara Stenn has brought the concept of Fair Trade down to earth in this readable and insightful volume. Her work in Bolivia, her compassion and hard-nosed business sense combine well with the desire and ability of her Bolivian partners to create a real picture of why Fair Trade matters.” – Dean Cycon, Founder and CEO, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, USA

“This original and compelling exploration of fair trade deftly shifts between macro and micro level analysis. Stenn draws on a wide range of scholarly perspectives and her own wealth of experience in the fair trade industry to create a highly readable text that will be useful for both students and fair traders alike.” – Sarah Lyon, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, USA and Editor, Anthropology of Work Review.