Social Relations of Production within the Workshop System in Istanbul's Apparel Industry
World apparel industry is largely organized around the global apparel commodity chains. With the elimination of the international trade quotas and with the release of global competition, these chains have undergone a spatial and functional re- structuring. In this process, flexibility and the just-in-time logic have become the basic modes of operation within the global chains. This new form of production is organized through pyramid-like commodity chains. The lowest segments of the global apparel commodity chains consist of workshops dispersed over urban areas. These workshops recruit most of the workers from informal labor markets. This thesis investigates the workshop system of the Istanbul apparel industry in its articulation with the global apparel commodity chains and the local socio-cultural settings. This system is embedded in a set of power and exploitation relations that embody existing local stratification mechanisms as the operating medium. The analysis of these relations in reference to the global transformations in production processes is the main aim of the thesis. The thesis analyzes firstly the global and the national dynamics of the apparel industry. Then it elaborates on the informal labor market conditions of apparel industry and on the productive relations within the workshops. Finally, the thesis depicts the relations between the local producer firms and the workshops. In these stages, the thesis endeavors to incorporate the local social and cultural dynamics into the analysis of the productive relations.