This book gets behind much generality implicit in the term 'globalisation'. It does so by focussing upon one particular sector, so-called white goods. Such goods - mainly represented here by refridgeration and cooking appliances - are a taken-for-granted part of many people's lives and the study of this sector permits close examination of world-wide similarities and differences in a concrete context. The book is based on original investigations of industry development and the nature of work in the white goods sector in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and the UK. As such, it provides a rich source of information on the conditions under which these commodities are produced in different countries. It makes a unique contribution, among other things, to the understanding of the impact of social structure on production relations; the nature of factory regimes; the role of the state in employee relations; the variable nature of trade unions; the diffusion of management methods and what these entail for workers; and more generally on the meaning of work.