What Slaveholders Think: How Contemporary Perpetrators Rationalize What They Do

Hardcover | March 7, 2017

byAustin Choi-Fitzpatrick

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Drawing on fifteen years of work in the antislavery movement, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick examines the systematic oppression of men, women, and children in rural India and asks: How do contemporary slaveholders rationalize the subjugation of other human beings, and how do they respond when their power is threatened? More than a billion dollars have been spent on antislavery efforts, yet the practice persists. Why? Unpacking what slaveholders think about emancipation is critical for scholars and policy makers who want to understand the broader context, especially as seen by the powerful. Insight into those moments when the powerful either double down or back off provides a sobering counterbalance to scholarship on popular struggle.

Through frank and unprecedented conversations with slaveholders, Choi-Fitzpatrick reveals the condescending and paternalistic thought processes that blind perpetrators. While they understand they are exploiting workers' vulnerabilities, slaveholders also feel they are doing workers a favor, often taking pride in this relationship. And when victims share this perspective, their emancipation is harder to secure, driving some in the antislavery movement to ask why slaves fear freedom. The answer, Choi-Fitzpatrick convincingly argues, lies in the power relationship. Whether slaveholders recoil at their past behavior or plot a return to power, Choi-Fitzpatrick zeroes in on the relational dynamics of their self-assessment, unpacking what happens next. Incorporating the experiences of such pivotal actors into antislavery research is an immensely important step toward crafting effective antislavery policies and intervention. It also contributes to scholarship on social change, social movements, and the realization of human rights.

All royalties will be donated to Free the Slaves and Anti-Slavery International

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From the Publisher

Drawing on fifteen years of work in the antislavery movement, Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick examines the systematic oppression of men, women, and children in rural India and asks: How do contemporary slaveholders rationalize the subjugation of other human beings, and how do they respond when their power is threatened? More than a billion do...

Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick is assistant professor of political sociology at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. He is the coeditor of From Human Trafficking to Human Rights: Reframing Contemporary Slavery (2012), and his work has appeared in the Journal of Human Rights, Social Movement Studies, the Co...

other books by Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick

From Human Trafficking to Human Rights: Reframing Contemporary Slavery
From Human Trafficking to Human Rights: Reframing Conte...

Kobo ebook|Jan 31 2012

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:March 7, 2017Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231181825

ISBN - 13:9780231181822

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. In All Its Forms: Slavery and Abolition, Movements and Targets2. Best-Laid Plans: A Partial Theory of Social-Movement Targets3. Just Like Family: Slaveholders on Slavery4. As If We Are Equal: Slaveholders on Emancipation5. The Farmer in the Middle: Target Response to Threats6. Private Wrongs: Slavery and Antislavery in Contemporary India7. Long Goodbye: The Contemporary Antislavery Movement8. Between Good and Evil: The Everyday Ethics of Resources and ReappraisalNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

Choi-Fitzpatrick reinvigorates the theory and practice of representing slavery and related systems of domination, in particular our understandings of the binaries between slavery and freedom, victims and perpetrators. Incisive and stimulating, this is a stellar work of scholarship that demands of the academy--and human rights campaigners--a marked shift in direction