Gearing Up for the Next Industrial Revolution: 3d Printing, Home-Based Factories, and Modes of Social Control
35 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2016
Date Written: 2015
While former industrial factories are being converted into modern living spaces in cities across the country, residential homes are being converted into modern factories thanks to advances in three-dimensional (“3D”) printing technology, an emerging “Maker Movement,” and the rise of online marketplaces like Etsy.
Despite growing environmental, child-labor, and safety concerns, these “homebased factories” are largely unregulated. In the absence of traditional workplace protections, how can we gear up for the “next industrial revolution” while guarding against the sweatshop conditions of the last? How can we harness the Maker Movement’s commitment to do-it-yourself democracy in order to combat abuses by potential “corporate makers”?
This Article analyzes the effectiveness of individual and collective “modes of social control” (e.g., law, ethical precepts, self regulation, affinity groups, vigilant and effective media, and direct action) in creating and sustaining just workplaces in an age of 3D printing and home-based factories.
Keywords: 3D printing, labor regulation, modes of social control, CSR, corporate social responsibility, DIY, sweatshops
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