2.2 The purpose of this activity
For these short video extracts we have chosen to focus on two main viewpoints. Try not to look beyond the outline of the debate, for we are not expecting you to come to a conclusion about who is right and who is wrong – the issues are far too intricate for that. All you need to do is to recognise what the issues are and to be able to identify what arguments each side puts forward in support of its case.
The key skill being developed is identifying the arguments used by various individuals and groups. You will need first to identify the two perspectives on the issue and then to summarise the points made by each group. A sample summary has been created for these video extracts ‘Jobs at any price?’ The two groups were identified as; on the one hand, the workers and those campaigning for workers’ rights and, on the other hand, the multinational firms and the Mexican government. Different labels for the two perspectives could have been used, but the important thing is that identifying the groups from the evidence presented in the video. You may feel that the video shows more than two viewpoints; if so, then you can create space for these in your note taking, but do not be tempted to overcomplicate your notes.
Do not attempt to draw conclusions from the material in the video; rather concentrate on identifying what evidence is given for the two perspectives. Assembling the evidence is an important first stage in the process of evaluating arguments and it is essential that you do this before you try to draw conclusions.
Interviews with individuals play an important role in presenting the arguments. Therefore, we need to think about how to make notes from interviews. Some of the people interviewed have strong views or stories of personal hardship. These stories provide richness and a depth to our understanding of the issues, but we need to ensure that we do not lose ourselves in the detail of these personal accounts. In the commentary notes, the arguments presented by Martha Ojeda and Mike Hissam have been identified as significant because they are closely involved in debates over jobs. However, it is important to frame their comments within the broader discussion about the nature of jobs, rather than simply leaving them as individual viewpoints.
Are bad jobs better than no jobs?
Does outsourcing offer poor countries to develop?
Or does it just perpetuate poverty wages? (a 'race to the bottom' or a 'race to the top'?)
Watch the following video extracts. Use the ideas from the note-taking section to try and answer these questions.
Transcript: Video Extract 1
Transcript: Video Extract 2
Here are the notes that were outlined in repsonse to the activity questions. Remember that they are one person's interpretation and may not be an exact match for your own notes.