• 376 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 22 tables, 6 figures, 37 halftones, 3 maps
  • Price: $32.95
  • EAN: 9781592133307
  • Publication: Jun 2006
  • Price: $90.50
  • EAN: 9781592133291
  • Publication: Jun 2006
  • Price: $32.95
  • EAN: 9781592133314
  • Publication: Jun 2006

Challenging the Chip

Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry

Edited by Ted Smith, David Sonnenfeld, and David Naguib Pellow

From Silicon Valley in California to Silicon Glen in Scotland, from Silicon Island in Taiwan to Silicon Paddy in China, the social, economic, and ecological effects of the international electronics industry are widespread. The production of electronic and computer components contaminates air, land, and water around the globe. As this eye-opening book reveals, the people who suffer the consequences are largely poor, female, immigrant, and minority. Challenging the Chip is the first comprehensive examination of the impacts of electronics manufacturing on workers and local environments across the planet.

Contributors to this pioneering volume include many of the world's most articulate, passionate and progressive visionaries, scholars and advocates. Here they not only document the unsustainable and often devastating practices of the global electronics industry but also chronicle creative ways in which activists, government agencies, and others have attempted to reform the industry-through resistance, persuasion, and regulation.


"(A) poignant expose of the environmental, public health and labor rights abuses of an industry that has come to symbolize progress and prosperity in the public eye. This broad anthology identifies the dark underbelly of the electronics revolution and seeks to ignite discussions between labor, environmentalist and human rights activists about how to address industry misconduct...a well-rounded understanding of challenges and struggles in the global electronics industry."
Multinational Monitor

"At first glance, this is an oft-told tale well told once more.... Taken together, the book's three parts present a cradle-to-grave (i.e., manufacture to disposal) approach to the industry and its problems. Further, the authors, a mixture of academics and activists, are not content merely to describe problems; they also advocate solutions to the challenges posed by this industry."
The Law and Politics Book Review

"With twenty-five chapters, much of the value of this volume lies in the encyclopaedic overview it provides of conditions in electronics manufacturing around the world...There are fascinating details strewn throughout the book...There is a valuable list of web resources and relevant organizations....The editors provide useful introductions to the volume and each section...but the strength of the book lies in the richness and variety of the empirical material rather than in any overarching explanations or insights. This book is an important intervention in significant public debate."
Contemporary Sociology

“This sweeping, ambitious, highly substantive panorama of environmental outrages perpetrated by the electronics industry and its handmaiden governments and inspectorates is nothing if not concrete, literal, rich, and entirely convincing….Challenging the Chip is a valuable resource document, a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the substance of environmental changemaking in the 21st century."
Environmental Politics

"Challenging the Chip is the story of those who valiantly fight to make the production of microchips a humane process and the products of chips safe for the environment.... each of the essays provides valuable insight into one or more aspects of the chip industry.... Challenging the Chip will be part of an effort to place the struggles of electronics workers front and center in the fight for social justice.... It is certainly a must-read for any labor activist concerned with organizing the cutting edge of worldwide production: global electronics."
Labor Studies Journal

About the Author(s)

Ted Smith is founder and Senior Strategist, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, and is co-founder and Coordinator of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology.

David Sonnenfeld is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community and Rural Sociology at Washington State University. He is a Research Associate with the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and co-editor of Ecological Modernisation Around the World: Perspectives and Critical Debates

David Naguib Pellow is Associate Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department, University of California at San Diego. He is the author of Garbage Wars: The Struggle for Environmental Justice in Chicago, and co-author of The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers and the High-Tech Global Economy.