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The Ruptures of American Capital: Women of Color Feminism and the Culture of Immigrant Labor

GRACE KYUNGWON HONG
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
https://doi.org/10.5749/j.ctttvbtk
Pages: 216
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttvbtk
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  • Book Info
    The Ruptures of American Capital
    Book Description:

    The Ruptures of American Capital examines women of color feminism and racialized immigrant women's culture in order to argue that race and gender are contradictions within the history of U.S. capital that should be understood as marked by its crises. Interweaving discussion of U.S. political economy with literary analyses, Grace Kyungwon Hong challenges the fetishization of difference that is one of the markers of globalization._x000B_

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9759-5
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. vii-xxxiv)

    In her preface toThis Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color(1981), Cherríe Moraga begins with a meditation on the stakes of women of color feminist politics:

    I can’t prepare myself a revolutionary packet that makes no sense when I leave the white suburbs of Watertown, Massachusetts, and take the T-line to Black Roxbury.

    Take Boston alone, I think to myself and the feminism my so-called sisters have constructed does nothing to help me make the trip from one end of town to another. Leaving Watertown, I board a bus and ride it quietly in my...

  2. Part I

    • chapter 1 The Possessive Individual and Social Death: The Complex Bind of National Subjectivity
      (pp. 3-30)

      From the wilderness romance of settling the frontier, to the faith in American ingenuity that narrativized U.S. capitalism and the industrial revolution, the “progress” narrative was arguably the most important explanatory paradigm through which the various tensions, contradictions, and contestations around the U.S. nation-state in the nineteenth century were articulated and negotiated. In this era, the contradictions of capital manifested themselves via the nation-state, as the nation-state became the central locus of political, economic, and cultural contestation. In this chapter, I read U.S. narratives of development as expressing a variety of struggles around U.S. nationalism. I do so by examining...

    • chapter 2 HISTORIES OF THE DISPOSSESSED: PROPERTY AND DOMESTICITY, SEGREGATION AND INTERNMENT
      (pp. 31-64)

      One of Japanese American short story writer Hisaye Yamamoto’s most acclaimed stories, “Yoneko’s Earthquake,” offers this seemingly extraneous bit of information about the rural California community in which the protagonist, ten-year-old Yoneko, lives:

      Yoneko, her father, her mother, and her little brother Seigo were the only Japanese thereabouts. They were the only ones, too, whose agriculture was so diverse as to include blackberries, cabbages, rhubarb, potatoes, cucumbers, onions, and cantaloupes. The rest of the countryside there was like one vast orange grove. (46)

      The connection between Yoneko’s family’s racial exceptionality in the farming region of California in the early 1930s...

  3. Part II

    • chapter 3 BAD WORKERS, WORSE CONSUMERS: U.S. IMPERIALISM AND THE TROUBLE WITH INDUSTRIAL LABOR
      (pp. 67-106)

      Dick Savage, one of the many characters in John Dos Passos’s trilogyU.S.A., exclaims, “We’ve got to break the whole idea . . . into its component parts” (1171). Savage, a dissipated and weak-willed public relations flack, seems hardly the type to come up with a description of what could arguably be called the dominant episteme of his era. Indeed, Savage, a would-be writer turned PR executive, comes up with this strategy for marketing “Doc” Bingham’s dubiously effective medicinal remedies almost accidentally while attempting to hide a hangover from his boss, J. Ward Moorehouse. Yet this irresponsible and obsequious yes-man’s...

    • chapter 4 CONSUMERISM WITHOUT MEANS: IMMIGRANT WORKERS AND THE NEOCOLONIAL CONDITION
      (pp. 107-142)

      The irony of Imelda Marcos’s statement is, of course, that the skeletons in her copious closet actually have very much to do with shoes. The world was scandalized when, during the 1986 coup that ousted her husband Ferdinand Marcos as military dictator of the Philippines, it emerged that she reputedly owned three thousand pairs of shoes while the majority of her country lived in crippling poverty. To be fair, Imelda has claimed that the number was exaggerated and that she owned only 1,060 pairs; still, it seems safe to say that Imelda is the consummate consumer. The woman who once...

  4. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 143-146)

    In this book, I have addressed an important shift in U.S. capital, from its national phase to its global phase, but through an examination of the new formations—women of color feminism and racialized immigrant women’s culture—that emerge to mark the crises of each phase. I have traced the shift from nationalist modes of universality, in the form of the possessive individual, to transnational modes, in the form of a commodified fetishization of diversity. As I have argued, these modes of universality occlude the modes of racialized and gendered difference on which they depend, and are thus rife with...