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The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work

by

The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This book is a must read for women's studies and sociology classes on labor, migration and gender as it provides its readers a rich and theoretically engaging discussion on feminine culture, the intersections of race, class, gender and migrant women's labor."—Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Brown University

"In The Managed Hand, Miliann Kang makes a significant contribution to the existing literature on Asian-American women, gender relations, service workers, beauty and the body. Based on fieldwork in nail salons, Kang reveals the social and emotional negotiations between and amongst women in that setting. We will never look at fingernails and what they tell us about ourselves in the same way again!"—Rebecca King-O'Riain, author of Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants

"I enjoyed reading Kang's work so much that I felt disappointed when I finished. The book is a wonderful example of what sociology does best—i.e., skillfully examining a relatively small site of interest, such that the analysis speaks not only to matters of individual experience and identity, but also to those of broader social and cultural processes and structures."—Debra L. Gimlin, author of Body Work: Beauty and Self-Image in American Culture

"How did manicured nails become such ubiquitous symbols of feminine status? In this innovative and compelling ethnography, Kang unravels the many social consequences of the polished nail, bringing together insights from care work, ethnic enclave entrepreneurship, and gender and migration scholarship to illuminate the growing sector of body labor. All those who would dismiss manicured nails as socially irrelevant should read this book!"—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence

Book News Annotation:

Kang (Women's Studies, U of Massachusetts, Amherst) examines the intersections of gender, race, class, and immigration in this engaging analysis of New York City's nail salon industry. Relying on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Asian owned nail salons, as well as interviews with customers, owners, workers, and licensing officials, this work discusses the growth of the nail salon industry in New York City, describes different types of nail salons and services, and examines relations between customers, workers, and owners in a variety of socioeconomic and racial settings. This volume will appeal to readers interested in women's studies, US multiculturalism, and Asian American studies. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"In The Managed Hand, Miliann Kang makes a significant contribution to the existing literature on Asian-American women, gender relations, service workers, beauty and the body. Based on fieldwork in nail salons, Kang reveals the social and emotional negotiations between and amongst women in that setting. We will never look at fingernails and what they tell us about ourselves in the same way again!"--Rebecca King-O'Riain, author of Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants

"This book is a must read for women's studies and sociology classes on labor, migration and gender as it provides its readers a rich and theoretically engaging discussion on feminine culture, the intersections of race, class, gender and migrant women's labor."--Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Brown University

Synopsis:

Two women, virtual strangers, sit hand-in-hand across a narrow table, both intent on the same thing-achieving the perfect manicure. Encounters like this occur thousands of times across the United States in nail salons increasingly owned and operated by Asian immigrants. This study looks closely for the first time at these intimate encounters, focusing on New York City, where such nail salons have become ubiquitous. Drawing from rich and compelling interviews, Miliann Kang takes us inside the nail industry, asking such questions as: Why have nail salons become so popular? Why do so many Asian women, and Korean women in particular, provide these services? Kang discovers multiple motivations for the manicure-from the pampering of white middle class women to the artistic self-expression of working class African American women to the mass consumption of body-related services. Contrary to notions of beauty service establishments as spaces for building community among women, The Managed Hand finds that while tentative and fragile solidarities can emerge across the manicure table, they generally give way to even more powerful divisions of race, class, and immigration.

About the Author

Miliann Kang is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and affiliated faculty in Sociology and Asian/Asian American Studies.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Manicuring Work

1. “Theres No Business Like the Nail Business”

2. “What Other Work Is There?”: Manicurists

3. Hooked on Nails: Customers

4. “I Just Put Koreans and Nails Together”: Nail Spas and the Model Minority

5. Black People “Have Not Been the Ones Who Get Pampered”: Nail Art Salons and Black-Korean Relations

6. “You Could Get a Fungus”: Asian Discount Nail Salons as the New Yellow Peril

Conclusion: What Is a Manicure Worth?

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520262607
Author:
Kang, Miliann
Publisher:
University of California Press
Subject:
Beauty, Personal -- Social aspects.
Subject:
Beauty shops - Social aspects - United States
Subject:
Beauty & Grooming - General
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations - General
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
United States Race relations.
Subject:
Asian Americans -- Social conditions.
Subject:
Labor & Industrial Relations
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Gender Studies-Womens Studies
Subject:
Emigration & Immigration
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Publication Date:
20100631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
15 b/w photographs
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in

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Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Body Issues
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » Labor

The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$38.95 In Stock
Product details 328 pages University of California Press - English 9780520262607 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "In The Managed Hand, Miliann Kang makes a significant contribution to the existing literature on Asian-American women, gender relations, service workers, beauty and the body. Based on fieldwork in nail salons, Kang reveals the social and emotional negotiations between and amongst women in that setting. We will never look at fingernails and what they tell us about ourselves in the same way again!"--Rebecca King-O'Riain, author of Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants

"This book is a must read for women's studies and sociology classes on labor, migration and gender as it provides its readers a rich and theoretically engaging discussion on feminine culture, the intersections of race, class, gender and migrant women's labor."--Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Brown University

"Synopsis" by ,
Two women, virtual strangers, sit hand-in-hand across a narrow table, both intent on the same thing-achieving the perfect manicure. Encounters like this occur thousands of times across the United States in nail salons increasingly owned and operated by Asian immigrants. This study looks closely for the first time at these intimate encounters, focusing on New York City, where such nail salons have become ubiquitous. Drawing from rich and compelling interviews, Miliann Kang takes us inside the nail industry, asking such questions as: Why have nail salons become so popular? Why do so many Asian women, and Korean women in particular, provide these services? Kang discovers multiple motivations for the manicure-from the pampering of white middle class women to the artistic self-expression of working class African American women to the mass consumption of body-related services. Contrary to notions of beauty service establishments as spaces for building community among women, The Managed Hand finds that while tentative and fragile solidarities can emerge across the manicure table, they generally give way to even more powerful divisions of race, class, and immigration.
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