On the basis of systematic research and personal experience, For We Are Sold, I and My People uncovers some of the social costs of modern production. Maria Patricia Fernandez-Kelly peels off the labels--"Made in Taiwan," "Assembled in Mexico"--and the trade names--RCA, Sony, General Motors, United Technologies, General Electric, Mattel, Chrysler, American Hospital Supply--to reveal the hidden human dimensions of present-day multinational manufacturing procedures.
Focusing on Cuidad Juarez, located at the United States-Mexican border, Fernandez-Kelly examines the reality of maquiladoras, the hundreds of assembly plants that since the 1960s have been used by the Mexican government as part of its development strategy. Most maquiladoras function as subsidiaries of large U.S.-based corporations and a majority of the employees are women. Drawing from current knowledge in political economy and anthropology, this study focuses on one common denominator of the international division of labor--a growing proletariat of Third World women exploited by what some experts are calling "the global assembly line."