Exploitation is a relationship in which one party uses power to gain at the expense of another. Exploitation happens through a claims-making process. Legal and cultural institutions steer which groups are exploited and block or facilitate exploitation. Exploitation can be naked and open for all to see; more often exploitation is institutionalized, taken for granted, and legitimated even by those being exploited. Examples of exploitation are offered, including increased exploitation of organizational resources by CEOs and other top earners; wage theft by employers from employees; income transfers between workers across categorical boundaries, including race, occupation, education, and parenthood; corporate cultures of self-exploitation; as well as contemporary slavery in the United States and the sexual exploitation of fashion models.
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