“Florence Kelley and the Struggle Against the Degradation of Life: An Introduction to a Selection from Modern Industry” [PDF] (coauthored with Brett Clark, Clark listed first), Organization and Environment, vol. 19, no 2 (June 2006), 1-13. DOI: 10.1177/1086026606288224
Florence Kelley illuminated how degraded environments stemmed from the social relations and operations of industrial capitalism. As a social reformer, she worked to document the various dangers that workers confronted. She presented how laborers were exposed to noxious gases, toxic substances, and poisonous chemicals and dyes. Dangerous materials, such as arsenic, were introduced into the production process without a concern for their health implications. Kelley’s critique of industrial capitalism and its exploitation of workers, especially in the form of child labor, revealed how a productive process driven by the accumu- lation of capital threatened the health of all people and hindered social development. She fought to make the public aware of the dangerous materials and hazardous conditions that were involved in the production of items for market. Kelley worked to unite consumers and laborers in a campaign to improve industrial relations, recognizing that a radical transformation of social relations was necessary in order to stop the degradation of life.
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