Synopses & Reviews
"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."and#151;Rhacel Salazar Parreand#241;as, 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!"and#151;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 bestand#151;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."and#151;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!"and#151;Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence
“Overall Kang has written an exceptionally well-argued, insightful book.” American Journal Of Sociology / AJS
and#8220;Overall Kang has written an exceptionally well-argued, insightful book.and#8221;
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.
"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
At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Pressandrsquo; new Open Access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.
In the last several years, much has been written about growing economic challenges, increasing income inequality, and political polarization in the United States. This book argues that lessons for addressing these national challenges are emerging from a new set of realities in Americaandrsquo;s metropolitan regions: first, that inequity is, in fact, bad for economic growth; second, that bringing together the concerns of equity and growth requires concerted local action; and, third, that the fundamental building block for doing this is the creation of diverse and dynamic epistemic (or knowledge) communities, which help to overcome political polarization and help regions address the challenges of economic restructuring and social divides.
andldquo;As America bolts toward a more multiracial future in the face of skyrocketing inequality, local leaders are desperately seeking strategies to foster more inclusive growth. Chris Benner and Manuel Pastorandrsquo;s research uncovers a critical ingredient of success: diverse regional leaders coming together to build a foundation of shared knowledge and advance positive change.andrdquo;andmdash;Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
andquot;This book, the latest fruit of a highly productive collaboration between two first-rate thinkers, is both immensely wise and highly practicalandmdash;a must-read. Benner and Pastor blow apart simplistic ideas about collaborative problem-solvingandmdash;which tend to stop at reframing or the magic of dialogueandmdash;to show how the locally driven process of generating shared knowledge, risk-taking and even productive conflict can generate real progress on the most urgent challenges our country and our communities face.andquot;andmdash;Xavier de Souza Briggs, author of Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities across the Globe
About the Author
is the Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Digital Tools for Social Innovation, and Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His research examines the relationships between technological change, regional development, and structures of economic opportunity, including regional labor markets and restructuring of work and employment. His most recent book, coauthored with Manuel Pastor, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in Americaandrsquo;s Metropolitan Region
. Other books include This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America
, and Work in the New Economy: Flexible Labor Markets in Silicon Valley
Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where he also serves as Director of USCand#39;s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and Codirector of USCand#39;s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). His most recent book, coauthored with Chris Benner, is Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in Americaandrsquo;s Metropolitan Region. He is also the coauthor of Uncommon Common Ground: Race and Americaandrsquo;s Future, and This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity Are Transforming Metropolitan America.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Manicuring Work
1. and#147;Thereand#8217;s No Business Like the Nail Businessand#8221;
2. and#147;What Other Work Is There?and#8221;: Manicurists
3. Hooked on Nails: Customers
4. and#147;I Just Put Koreans and Nails Togetherand#8221;: Nail Spas and the Model Minority
5. Black People and#147;Have Not Been the Ones Who Get Pamperedand#8221;: Nail Art Salons and Black-Korean Relations
6. and#147;You Could Get a Fungusand#8221;: Asian Discount Nail Salons as the New Yellow Peril
Conclusion: What Is a Manicure Worth?