Dealing in Desire

Author: Kimberly Kay Hoang
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520960688
Release Date: 2015-02-11
Genre: Social Science

This captivating ethnography explores Vietnam’s sex industry as the country ascends the global and regional stage. Over the course of five years, author Kimberly Kay Hoang worked at four exclusive Saigon hostess bars catering to diverse clientele: wealthy local Vietnamese and Asian businessmen, Viet Kieus (ethnic Vietnamese living abroad), Western businessmen, and Western budget-tourists. Dealing in Desire takes an in-depth and often personal look at both the sex workers and their clients to show how Vietnamese high finance and benevolent giving are connected to the intimate spheres of the informal economy. For the domestic super-elite who use the levers of political power to channel foreign capital into real estate and manufacturing projects, conspicuous consumption is a means of projecting an image of Asian ascendancy to potential investors. For Viet Kieus and Westerners who bring remittances into the local economy, personal relationships with local sex workers reinforce their ideas of Asia’s rise and Western decline, while simultaneously bolstering their diminished masculinity. Dealing in Desire illuminates Ho Chi Minh City’s sex industry as not just a microcosm of the global economy, but a critical space where dreams and deals are traded.

Dealing in Desire

Author: Kimberly Kay Hoang
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520275577
Release Date: 2015-02-11
Genre: Social Science

"This fascinating ethnography examines one segment of Vietnam's diverse sex industry. Between 2006 and 2010, author Kimberly Kay Hoang was employed at four exclusive Saigon hostess bars catering to high-end clientele: wealthy Asian businessmen, Western expatriates and tourists, local Vietnamese men, and Viet Kieus (ethnic Vietnamese living abroad). Using participant observation and in-depth interviews with the sex workers, bar owners, managers, and mostly rich clients at all four locations, Hoang argues that Vietnam's high-end sex industry is much more than a byproduct of globalization--it's an integral component of the country's free-market capitalism, including its emergence as a regional economic player. Major business deals in Vietnam often occur within hostess bars, which businessmen use to stage a display of power, forge relationships, and impress clients. Hostesses facilitate these transactions by socializing with clients, as well as fulfilling fantasies of the flesh and of the culture. The author reveals how recent changes in the political economy have shaped the social structure of sex work in the country, just as actors involved in the sex industry have actively shaped Vietnam's political economy. Multiple constructions of gender are emerging across local, national, and global socio-spaces from the bottom up and the top down"--Provided by publisher.

Dealing in Desire

Author: Kimberly Kay Hoang
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520275553
Release Date: 2015-02-11
Genre: Social Science

"This fascinating ethnography examines one segment of Vietnam's diverse sex industry. Between 2006 and 2010, author Kimberly Kay Hoang was employed at four exclusive Saigon hostess bars catering to high-end clientele: wealthy Asian businessmen, Western expatriates and tourists, local Vietnamese men, and Viet Kieus (ethnic Vietnamese living abroad). Using participant observation and in-depth interviews with the sex workers, bar owners, managers, and mostly rich clients at all four locations, Hoang argues that Vietnam's high-end sex industry is much more than a byproduct of globalization--it's an integral component of the country's free-market capitalism, including its emergence as a regional economic player. Major business deals in Vietnam often occur within hostess bars, which businessmen use to stage a display of power, forge relationships, and impress clients. Hostesses facilitate these transactions by socializing with clients, as well as fulfilling fantasies of the flesh and of the culture. The author reveals how recent changes in the political economy have shaped the social structure of sex work in the country, just as actors involved in the sex industry have actively shaped Vietnam's political economy. Multiple constructions of gender are emerging across local, national, and global socio-spaces from the bottom up and the top down"--Provided by publisher.

Strip Club

Author: Kim Price-Glynn
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814767818
Release Date: 2010-09-14
Genre: Social Science

In Strip Club, Kim Price‒Glynn takes us behind the scenes at a rundown club where women strip out of economic need, a place where strippers’ stories are not glamorous or liberating, but emotionally demanding and physically exhausting. Strip Club reveals the intimate working lives of not just the women up on stage, but also the patrons and other workers who make the place run: the owner‒manager, bartenders, dejays, doormen, bouncers, housemoms, and cocktail waitresses. Price‒Glynn spent fourteen months at The Lion’s Den working as a cocktail waitress, and her uncommonly deep access reveals a conflict‒ridden workplace, similar to any other workplace, one where gender inequalities are reproduced through the everyday interactions of customers and workers. Taking a novel approach to this controversial and often misunderstood industry, Price‒Glynn draws a fascinating portrait of life and work inside the strip club.

Global Cinderellas

Author: Pei-Chia Lan
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822387787
Release Date: 2006-03-13
Genre: Business & Economics

Migrant women are the primary source of paid domestic labor around the world. Since the 1980s, the newly prosperous countries of East Asia have recruited foreign household workers at a rapidly increasing rate. Many come from the Philippines and Indonesia. Pei-Chia Lan interviewed and spent time with dozens of Filipina and Indonesian domestics working in and around Taipei as well as many of their Taiwanese employers. On the basis of the vivid ethnographic detail she collected, Lan provides a nuanced look at how boundaries between worker and employer are maintained and negotiated in private households. She also sheds light on the fate of the workers, “global Cinderellas” who seek an escape from poverty at home only to find themselves treated as disposable labor abroad. Lan demonstrates how economic disparities, immigration policies, race, ethnicity, and gender intersect in the relationship between the migrant workers and their Taiwanese employers. The employers are eager to flex their recently acquired financial muscle; many are first-generation career women as well as first-generation employers. The domestics are recruited from abroad as contract and “guest” workers; restrictive immigration policies prohibit them from seeking permanent residence or transferring from one employer to another. They care for Taiwanese families’ children, often having left their own behind. Throughout Global Cinderellas, Lan pays particular attention to how the women she studied identify themselves in relation to “others”—whether they be of different classes, nationalities, ethnicities, or education levels. In so doing, she offers a framework for thinking about how migrant workers and their employers understand themselves in the midst of dynamic transnational labor flows.

Critical Globalization Studies

Author: Richard P. Appelbaum
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 0415949610
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Political Science

Critical Globalization Studies is the first volume to map out a critical approach to the rapidly growing field of gloablization studies. Centrally concerned with global justice, the contributors both scrutinze and recast the subject. As well, the volume serves as a bridge connecting scholars of globalization, the policy world, and the global justice movement. The essays examine a wide range of topics too often left at the margin of globalization studies and in the process raise a host of crucial questions. Unique in its extensive and comprehensive approach, Critical Globalization Studies develops new and important theoretical perspectives on globalization while engaging global social activism. It is an indispenseable guide for both academics and practitioners.

Bringing the Empire Home

Author: Zine Magubane
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226501779
Release Date: 2004
Genre: History

How did South Africans become black? How did the idea of blackness influence conceptions of disadvantaged groups in England such as women and the poor, and vice versa? Bringing the Empire Home tracks colonial images of blackness from South Africa to England and back again to answer questions such as these. Before the mid-1800s, black Africans were considered savage to the extent that their plight mirrored England's internal Others—women, the poor, and the Irish. By the 1900s, England's minority groups were being defined in relation to stereotypes of black South Africans. These stereotypes, in turn, were used to justify both new capitalist class and gender hierarchies in England and the subhuman treatment of blacks in South Africa. Bearing this in mind, Zine Magubane considers how marginalized groups in both countries responded to these racialized representations. Revealing the often overlooked links among ideologies of race, class, and gender, Bringing the Empire Home demonstrates how much black Africans taught the English about what it meant to be white, poor, or female.

Invisible Families

Author: Mignon Moore
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520950153
Release Date: 2011-10-17
Genre: Social Science

Mignon R. Moore brings to light the family life of a group that has been largely invisible—gay women of color—in a book that challenges long-standing ideas about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood. Drawing from interviews and surveys of one hundred black gay women in New York City, Invisible Families explores the ways that race and class have influenced how these women understand their sexual orientation, find partners, and form families. In particular, the study looks at the ways in which the past experiences of women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s shape their thinking, and have structured their lives in communities that are not always accepting of their openly gay status. Overturning generalizations about lesbian families derived largely from research focused on white, middle-class feminists, Invisible Families reveals experiences within black American and Caribbean communities as it asks how people with multiple stigmatized identities imagine and construct an individual and collective sense of self.

Intimate Migrations

Author: Deborah A. Boehm
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479885558
Release Date: 2013-07-01
Genre: Social Science

In her research with transnational Mexicans, Deborah A. Boehm has often asked individuals: if there were no barriers to your movement between Mexico and the United States, where would you choose to live? Almost always, they desire the freedom to “come and go.” Yet the barriers preventing such movement are many. Because of rigid U.S. immigration policies, Mexican immigrants often find themselves living long distances from family members and unable to easily cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Transnational Mexicans experience what Boehm calls “intimate migrations,” flows that both shape and are structured by gendered and familial actions and interactions, but are always defined by the presence of the U.S. state. By showing how intimate relations direct migration, and by looking at kin and gender relationships through the lens of “illegality,” Boehm sheds new light on the study of gender and kinship, as well as understandings of the state and transnational migration.

Markets and Bodies

Author: Eileen M. Otis
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804778350
Release Date: 2011-12-07
Genre: Social Science

Insulated from the dust, noise, and crowds churning outside, China's luxury hotels are staging areas for the new economic and political landscape of the country. These hotels, along with other emerging service businesses, offer an important, new source of employment for millions of workers, but also bring to light levels of inequality that surpass most developed nations. Examining how gender enables the globalization of markets and how emerging forms of service labor are changing women's social status in China, Markets and Bodies reveals the forms of social inequality produced by shifts in the economy. No longer working for the common good as defined by the socialist state, service workers are catering to the individual desires of consumers. This economic transition ultimately affords a unique opportunity to investigate the possibilities and current limits for better working conditions for the young women who are enabling the development of capitalism in China.

Anxious Wealth

Author: John Osburg
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804785358
Release Date: 2013-04-03
Genre: Social Science

Who exactly are China's new rich? This pioneering investigation introduces readers to the private lives—and the nightlives—of the powerful entrepreneurs and managers redefining success and status in the city of Chengdu. Over the course of more than three years, anthropologist John Osburg accompanied, and in some instances assisted, wealthy Chinese businessmen as they courted clients, partners, and government officials. Drawing on his immersive experiences, Osburg invites readers to join him as he journeys through the new, highly gendered entertainment sites for Chinese businessmen, including karaoke clubs, saunas, and massage parlors—places specifically designed to cater to the desires and enjoyment of elite men. Within these spaces, a masculinization of business is taking place. Osburg details the complex code of behavior that governs businessmen as they go about banqueting, drinking, gambling, bribing, exchanging gifts, and obtaining sexual services. These intricate social networks play a key role in generating business, performing social status, and reconfiguring gender roles. But many entrepreneurs feel trapped by their obligations and moral compromises in this evolving environment. Ultimately, Osburg examines their deep ambivalence about China's future and their own complicity in the major issues of post-Mao Chinese society—corruption, inequality, materialism, and loss of trust.

Wounded City

Author: Robert Vargas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190245917
Release Date: 2016-04-06
Genre: Ethnic neighborhoods

In 2009, Chicago spent millions of dollars to create programs to prevent gang violence in some of its most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Yet in spite of the programs, violence has grown worse in some of the very neighborhoods that the violence prevention programs were intented to help. While public officials and social scientists often attribute the violence - and the failure of the programs - to a lack of community in poor neighborhoods, closer study reveals another source of community division: local politics. Through an ethnographic case study of Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, Wounded City dispells the popular belief that a lack of community is the primary source of violence, arguing that competition for political power and state resources often undermine efforts to reduce gang violence. Robert Vargas argues that the state, through the way it governs, can contribute to distrust and division among community members, thereby undermining social cohesion. The strategic actions taken by police officers, politicians, nonprofit organizations, and gangs to collaborate or compete for power and resources can vary block by block, triggering violence on some blocks while successfully preventing it on others. A rich blend of urban politics, sociology, and criminology, Wounded City offers a cautionary tale for elected officials, state agencies, and community based organizations involved with poor neighborhoods.

On the Line

Author: Vanesa Ribas
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520282957
Release Date: 2015-12-08
Genre: Political Science

“How does one put into words the rage that workers feel when supervisors threaten to replace them with workers who will not go to the bathroom in the course of a fourteen-hour day of hard labor, even if it means wetting themselves on the line?”—From the Preface In this gutsy, eye-opening examination of the lives of workers in the New South, Vanesa Ribas, working alongside mostly Latino/a and native-born African American laborers for sixteen months, takes us inside the contemporary American slaughterhouse. Ribas, a native Spanish speaker, occupies an insider/outsider status there, enabling her to capture vividly the oppressive exploitation experienced by her fellow workers. She showcases the particular vulnerabilities faced by immigrant workers—a constant looming threat of deportation, reluctance to seek medical attention, and family separation—as she also illuminates how workers find connection and moments of pleasure during their grueling shifts. Bringing to the fore the words, ideas, and struggles of the workers themselves, On The Line underlines how deep racial tensions permeate the factory, as an overwhelmingly minority workforce is subject to white dominance. Compulsively readable, this extraordinary ethnography makes a powerful case for greater labor protection, especially for our nation’s most vulnerable workers.

Staged Seduction

Author: Akiko Takeyama
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804798556
Release Date: 2016-03-09
Genre: Social Science

In the host clubs of Tokyo's Kabuki-chō red-light district, ambitious young men seek their fortunes by selling love, romance, companionship, and sometimes sex to female consumers for exorbitant sums of money. Staged Seduction reveals a world where all intimacies and feigned feelings are fair game for the hosts who employ feathered bangs, polished nails, fine European suits, and the sensitivity of the finest salesmen to create a fantasy for wealthy women seeking an escape from the everyday. Akiko Takeyama's investigation of this beguiling underground "love business" provides an intimate window into Japanese host clubs and the lives of hosts, clients, club owners, and managers. The club is a place where fantasies are pursued and the art of seduction isn't merely about romance; a complex set of transactions emerges. Like a casino of love, the host club is a site of desperation, aspiration, and hope, in which both hosts and clients are eager to roll the dice. Takeyama reveals the aspirational mode not only of the host club, but also of a Japanese society built on the commercialization of aspiration, seducing its citizens out of the present and into a future where hopes and dreams are imaginable—and billions of dollars can be made.

Liquidated

Author: Karen Ho
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822391371
Release Date: 2009-06-22
Genre: Social Science

Financial collapses—whether of the junk bond market, the Internet bubble, or the highly leveraged housing market—are often explained as the inevitable result of market cycles: What goes up must come down. In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy. Ho, who worked at an investment bank herself, argues that bankers’ approaches to financial markets and corporate America are inseparable from the structures and strategies of their workplaces. Her ethnographic analysis of those workplaces is filled with the voices of stressed first-year associates, overworked and alienated analysts, undergraduates eager to be hired, and seasoned managing directors. Recruited from elite universities as “the best and the brightest,” investment bankers are socialized into a world of high risk and high reward. They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business. Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U.S. corporations, Liquidated reveals the particular culture of Wall Street often obscured by triumphalist readings of capitalist globalization.