Slavery - Sociology


Historically, the first and longest system of social stratification - slavery - is an economic, social and legal form of enslavement, bordering on total injustice and extreme inequality (Figure 4.3).

From a sociological point of view, slavery is the status or living conditions of a person who is not free to choose his employers, treated as a thing or property and which can be sold on the market. Slavery encompasses such institutions and practices as a debt obligation, serfdom, exploitation of women and children.

British sociologist and anthropologist Kevin Bails divides slavery into two types: "old" and new. "

Old slavery arose in ancient times and existed just before the Civil War in the United States. Old slavery is based on legal property and the right of one person to own others, as well as on the division between different races and ethnic groups. Slavery took on a lengthy character, and the status of a slave passed from fathers to children for many generations. In the old slavery distinguish two forms.

Slavery is historically the first and longest time system of social stratification

Fig. 4.3. Slavery - historically the first and longest time system of social stratification

Slavery is an economic, social and legal form of enslaving people, bordering on total lack of rights and extreme inequality

1. With patriarchal slavery (primitive form), the slave possessed all the rights of the younger family member: he lived in the same house with the owners, participated in public life, married free people, inherited the owner's property; he was forbidden to kill.

2. With classic slavery (mature form), the slave was finally enslaved: he lived in a separate room, participated in nothing, did not inherit anything, did not enter into marriage and did not have a family; he was allowed to kill. He did not own property, but he was considered the property of the owner ( talking tool ).

When talking about slavery as a historical type of stratification, it means its highest stage - slavery , i.e. The system of slavery, elevated to the rank of state policy and legalized as an official public institution. The property and possession of slaves as movable property finds in the slave state the same support as any other kind of private property.

Slavery in Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome was legalized by the state, flourished on a massive scale, and the laws of the state justified, protected and regulated the institution of slavery.

In contrast to slavery, the concept of slavery describes a broader practice that is not necessarily legalized by the state, but is practiced by private individuals in circumvention of the law. Slavery implies the use of forced labor, the complete deprivation of the individual's civil rights, humiliation of personal dignity and content in antihygienic conditions.

Modern trafficking in people, including sexabies, should be qualified as slavery, but not as slavery.

Slavery as a concept broader than slavery implies four global types:

1) Ancient Eastern slavery (Ancient Egypt, Sumer, Akkad, Babylon);

2) ancient slavery (Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome);

3) American slavery (the United States and Latin America);

4) modern slavery (spread all over the world).

In slavery and slavery, there are two sides: economic and legal. The economic side of slavery refers to the measure of the separation of slaves from the means of production and the appropriation of themselves as means of production, legal - the scope of the rights of slaves, in particular their various categories. From the economic point of view, all categories of slaves can be divided into two types - serving and production.

The first type will give us the most immature form - home (patriarchal) slavery , where

slaves on the rights of junior household perform the most difficult and unprestigious work on the au pair.

The second type characterizes the use of slaves in material production outside the sphere of the house - on plantations, mines and mines, in agriculture and cattle breeding, in craft workshops.

Specialists identify six types of institutional slavery.

1. Female slavery : among the conquered foreigners only women were left alive, using them as wives, concubines, servants.

2. Domestic slavery: conquered foreigners became the junior members of the family.

3. Handicraft slavery: Of the conquered tribe, only qualified people were selected, using them as slaves-craftsmen, who brought goods for the market and thereby delivered profits to the owner.

4. Slavery-soldier: Of the conquered tribe, healthy, skilful, warlike men were selected, turning them into "cannon fodder".

5. Administrative slavery: A specially trained slave contingent was used as estate managers.

6. Agrarian slavery: forced labor on latifundia and plantations. It was also called serfdom.

Slavery has accompanied humanity for several millennia. It arose in ancient times in Egypt, Babylon, China, Greece, Rome and has survived in a number of regions to the present day. The transatlantic slave traffic, or trade triangle, which operated from the 14th to the 19th century, connected Europe, America and Africa. Over 400 years, more than 15 million African slaves were brought and sold in the New World. In addition, millions of Africans were exterminated during the raids into the interior of the continent or died during transportation. From the legal norm, slavery gradually turned into a consciously cultivated ideology based on racism, and then into a special practice of socialization and upbringing. Today, there are 35 million descendants of black slaves in the United States, who demand multi-million reparations for the humiliation and overwork of their ancestors in cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations.

Russia did not know slavery in the conventional sense of the word. Instead, it was serfdom , which brought misery to our country no less than slavery. Serfdom is an extra-economic coercion under feudalism, and serfdom is the legal attachment of peasants to the land of the feudal lord.

Despite the similarities, the notions of slavery and serfdom are nevertheless different. The serf has not only duties, but also rights. In contrast, the slave, in particular in Rome, was deprived of all rights. The serf owned property, could marry and have a family: this was how the hereditary strata of serfs were formed. Slavery denoted forced labor in any sphere of the economy, and serfdom only in the sphere of agriculture.

New (modern) slavery is characterized by three main features:

1) Human activity is controlled through violence or threat of violence;

2) a person is in a given place and is engaged in this kind of activity against his will and can not change the situation of his own volition;

3) for his work, he receives a minimum payment or does not receive it at all.

The League of Nations Convention on Slavery (1926), the 1953 Protocol amending the 1926 Convention and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery (1956) apply to the confrontation with modern slavery. . They define slavery, the slave trade, and institutions similar to slavery. The signatory states undertake to cooperate with each other on this issue and to introduce into the national legislation norms prohibiting such acts.

According to the 1926 Convention, slavery is the condition or position of a person over which property rights or some of them are exercised.

New slavery has no legitimate basis, it falls on the basis of cleverly drawn up contracts or due to unpaid debt. Modern slaves are very cheap, are a thing of one-time use, i.e. It is easily replaceable when it becomes unusable. The slaveholder, whether the owner or the pimp, does not care about his slaves at all, as happened in Antiquity. Slavery today falls not only because of military conflicts, but also because of extreme poverty and want, violation of rights, loss of work or housing. The motley world of modern slavery knows both pure and mixed forms, where elements of the "old" and new slavery.

The most common form of slavery in the modern world is the retention of workers other than their will , especially widespread in India, Pakistan and Nepal. We are talking about people caught in bondage to their employers and forced to work off debt and accrued interest. In many cases, such debts are worked out for many years and pass to the children of the debtor in the event of his death.

Trafficking in human beings is one of the forms of modern slavery, including domestic slavery, forced marriages, fictitious adoption, forced pregnancy, the use of people for transplantation of organs and tissues. The majority of victims of trafficking are women and girls who are forced to provide sexual services.

Modern slave owners mostly exploit people belonging to their own race or people. The paradox is that slaves are often in a more deprived state than in an era when slavery existed legally. Moreover, slaves of the XXI century are cheaper than in the XIX century. For example, to the organization "Free the Slaves", in 1850 the cost of a slave in the southern states of the USA was 40 thousand dollars (in comparable prices). Now, given to K. Bails, the girls from Thailand are sold to clandestine brothels of the United States or Western Europe for $ 20,000, and the slavers in Thailand buy them from their parents or relatives for only $ 2,000. In some countries, the slave you can buy for $ 100.

In modern countries, slavery is officially prohibited and exists as a sector of the shadow economy. The role of slavers is now carried out by various criminal and paramilitary structures, while slavery is accompanied by violence, murder, rape, kidnapping, illegal border crossing, forgery of documents. Between 600 and 800 thousand people are involved in international traffic annually, 80% of them are women and children. Foreign experts estimate slavery as a super-profitable branch of criminal business that exists on all six continents. The annual profit is measured in huge numbers: from $ 9 to $ 13 billion.

Despite the fact that slavery is prohibited in all countries today, 25 to 30 million inhabitants of the Earth are slaves. According to other estimates, in particular experts from the organization "Anti-Slavery", their number reaches 200 million. Perhaps, according to K. Bails, more people are involved in slavery in the modern world than it has ever been in history. At the same time, the number of slaves of the XXI century. is constantly growing. According to the UN, 700,000 people fall into slavery each year. From 500 to 600 thousand citizens of the former USSR, mostly women, were in the slave state at the beginning of the new millennium.

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