Workers in distant nations who produce the products we buy frequently suffer from accidents, managerial malfeasance, and injustice. Are consumers who bought the products made by these workers in any way morally responsible for those injustices? And what about the far more frequent, less severe injustices, such as the withholding of wages, the denial of bathroom breaks, forced overtime, and harassment of various sorts? Could buying a shirt at the local department store create for you some responsibility for the horrendous death in a factory fire of the women who sewed it half a planet away? This volume corrects the imprecision regarding economic and social realities that so often plagues Christian ethics. Finn's lucid accounts of social structures, markets, and power enables him to identify the moral responsibilities that consumers have for sinful social structures. Consumer Ethics in a Global Economy
is required reading for the Christian ethicist.
--Daniel J. Daly, Associate professor, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Finn's work again fills an important gap in Christian ethics, this time by carefully developing an accessible and compelling account of how markets place consumers into morally significant relationships with distant producers. Through its use of critical realism and concrete examples, this volume not only promises to clarify a number of ongoing debates within economic ethics, but also proposes a usefully fine-grained analysis of how moral agency is itself shaped by social structures such as markets.
--Christina McRorie, Assistant professor of theology, Creighton University
Consumer Ethics in a Global Economy