Synopses & Reviews
"Nicole Constable has produced a splendid sequel to her much-praised Maid to Order in Hong Kong.
Constable's sensitive ethnography and her international scope insures that we see every Filipino and Chinese woman as a thinking, feeling person, and every American man who is her pen pal and sometimes future husband as far more than a mere cartoon character. Romance on a Global Stage
wonderfully complicates the genderings and globalizings of power and emotions."Cynthia Enloe, author of Bananas, Beaches and Bases
"The rise of feminism in North America has been paralleled by a growth in marriages between Western men and women from the global periphery. Constable's fascinating study explores the multiple desires at work, revealing the anti-feminist reason and feminist surprises in these global romances."Aihwa Ong, author of Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America
"Constable adds a new map to the cartographies of desire in this nuanced and fresh account of 'mail-order marriage.' Her original work carefully attends to emotion, sex, and political economy, offering a complex account of gender, marriage, and globalization."Carole S. Vance, author of Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality
"This innovative and compassionate work maps new formations of desire in the context of globalization. Constable breaks through the stereotypes about transnational pen-pal marriages to enable us to see, in an ethnographically detailed way, how agency and desire are shaped by uneven economic development and how cyber-technologies figure in the production of new global imaginaries."Ann Anagnost, author of National Past-times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China
"Constable is a talented and perceptive anthropologist who has mastered the use of the web both as a research tool and a topic of research. Her sensible and timely examination of transnational marriages of American men with women from the Philippines and China relentlessly debunks commonly-held tales about submissive (or manipulative) Asian women and wealthy (or abusive) American men."Jean-Paul Dumont, author of Visayan Vignettes: Ethnographic Traces of a Philippine Island
Why are U.S. transnational corporations -investing- their philanthropic and social responsibility resources in the education, employment, health, and financial futures of poor girls and women of color in the Global South? Is it a solution to ending poverty? Or is it simply a pursuit of economic growth and corporate profit?
Based on over two years of multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in the U.S. and Brazil, the book focuses on various corporations' philanthropic arms that aim to help girls and women reach their full potential to break the cycle of poverty. Using the Girl Effect, the philanthropic brand of Nike, Inc., as a central case study, the book examines how corporate practices simultaneously position poor girls and women of color as instruments of poverty alleviation and new frontiers for capitalist accumulation. These practices, in turn, enable corporations to expand their legitimacy, authority, and reach while sidestepping the contradictions in their business practices. The unintended effect is the de-politicizing of girls and women's demands for a fair global economy.
How and why are U.S. transnational corporations investing in the lives, educations, and futures of poor, racialized girls and women in the Global South? Is it a solution to ending poverty? Or is it a pursuit of economic growth and corporate profit?
Drawing on over a decade of research in the U.S. and Brazil, this book focuses on how the philanthropic, social responsibility and business practices of various corporations use a logic of development that positions girls and women as instruments of poverty alleviation and new frontiers for capitalist accumulation. Using The Girl Effect, the philanthropic brand of Nike, Inc., as a central case study, the book examines how these corporations seek to address the problems of gendered poverty and inequality, yet do so using an instrumental logic that shifts the burden of development onto girls and women without transforming the structural conditions that produce poverty. These practices, in turn, enable corporations to expand their legitimacy, authority, and reach while sidestepping contradictions in their business practices that often exacerbate conditions of vulnerability for girls and women. With a keen eye towards justice, author Kathryn Moeller concludes that these corporatized development practices de-politicize girls and women's demands for fair labor practices and a just global economy.
By the year 2000 more than 350 Internet agencies were plying the email-order marriage trade, and the business of matching up mostly Western men with women from Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America had become an example of globalization writ large. This provocative work opens a window onto the complex motivations and experiences of the people behind the stereotypes and misconceptions that have exploded along with the practice of transnational courtship and marriage. Combining extensive Internet ethnography and face-to-face fieldwork, Romance on a Global Stage
looks at the intimate realities of Filipinas, Chinese women, and U.S. men corresponding in hopes of finding a suitable marriage partner.
Through the experiences of those engaged in pen pal relationshipstheir stories of love, romance, migration, and long-distance datingthis book conveys the richness and dignity of women's and men's choices without reducing these correspondents to calculating opportunists or naive romantics. Attentive to the structural, cultural, and personal factors that prompt women and men to seek marriage partners abroad, Romance on a Global Stage questions the dichotomies so frequently drawn between structure and agency, and between global and local levels of analysis.
Donna M. Goldstein presents a hard-hitting critique of urban poverty and violence and challenges much of what we think we know about the "culture of poverty" in this compelling read. Drawing on more than a decade of experience in Brazil, Goldstein provides an intimate portrait of everyday life among the women of the favelas, or urban shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro, who cope with unbearable suffering, violence and social abandonment. The book offers a clear-eyed view of socially conditioned misery while focusing on the creative responsesand#151;absurdist and black humorand#151;that people generate amid daily conditions of humiliation, anger, and despair. Goldstein helps us to understand that such joking and laughter is part of an emotional aesthetic that defines the sense of frustration and anomie endemic to the political and economic desperation among residents of the shantytown.
"Goldstein returns anthropology to what it does best while taking the reader on a no-holds-barred ride through the tragicomic world of a Rio favela. She captures the bittersweet laughter of Brazil's vast subterranean underclass of domestic servants who keep their anger and despair at bay by laughing and spitting into the face of chaos, injustice, and premature death. In this affecting and deft 'comedy of manners,' Goldstein emerges as urban anthropology's new Jane Austen."and#151;Nancy Scheper-Hughes, author of Death without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil
"Goldstein takes us right to where anthropology should be: into the blood, sweat, tears of shantytown life. Laughter Out of Place tells the story of a Brazilian family on the edge of survival where women and children struggle, not just to stay alive, but also for joy in the face of poverty, men, and mutual betrayal."and#151;Philippe Bourgois, author of In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio
"A stunning ethnographic achievement that should become an urban anthropological classic. Goldstein brings us close to women who under extraordinary circumstances of poverty use humor to reveal the penetrating truth of their relationship to structures of power and the ironies of their raced, classed, and gendered lives. Superb and engaging ethnographic analysis is framed by sophisticated social theory and a comprehensive treatment of the literature on contemporary Brazilian society."and#151;Judith Goode, co-editor of The New Poverty Studies: The Ethnography of Power, Politics and Impoverished People in the United States
About the Author
Nicole Constable is Professor of Anthropology and Research Professor at the University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh. She is the editor of Guest People (1996) and author of Maid to Order in Hong Kong (1997), and Christian Souls and Chinese Spirits (California, 1994).
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface to the 2013 Edition
Introduction: Hard Laughter
1. Laughter "Out of Place"
2. The Aesthetics of Domination:and#160;Class, Culture, and the Lives of Domestic Workers
3. Color-Blind Erotic Democracies, Black Consciousness Politics,and#160;and the Black Cinderellas of Felicidade Eterna
4. No Time for Childhood
5. State Terror, Gangs, and Everyday Violence in Rio de Janeiro
6. Partial Truths, or the Carnivalization of Desire
7. Whatand#8217;s So Funny about Rape?