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Gender and Globalization in Asian and the Pacific

Gender and Globalization in Asian and the Pacific: Method, Practice, Theory

Kathy E. Ferguson
Monique Mironesco
Copyright Date: 2008
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  • Book Info
    Gender and Globalization in Asian and the Pacific
    Book Description:

    What is globalization? How is it gendered? How does it work in Asia and the Pacific? The authors of the sixteen original and innovative essays presented here take fresh stock of globalization's complexities. They pursue critical feminist inquiry about women, gender, and sexualities and produce original insights into changing life patterns in Asian and Pacific Island societies.

    Each essay puts the lives and struggles of women at the center of its examination while weaving examples of global circuits in Asian and Pacific societies into a world frame of analysis. The work is generated from within Asian and Pacific spaces, bringing to the fore local voices and claims to knowledge. The geographic emphasis on Asia/Pacific highlights the complexity of globalizing practices among specific people whose dilemmas come alive on these pages. Although the book focuses on global, gendered flows, it expands its investigation to include the media and the arts, intellectual resources, activist agendas, and individual life stories. First-rate ethnographies and interviews reach beyond generalizations and bring Pacific and Asian women and men alive in their struggles against globalization.

    Globalization cannot be summed up in a neat political agenda but must be actively contested and creatively negotiated. Taking feminist political thinking beyond simple oppositions, the authors ask specific questions about how global practices work, how they come to be, who benefits, and what is at stake.

    Contributors:Nancie Caraway, Steve Derné, Cynthia Enloe, Kathy Ferguson, Maria Ibarra, Gwyn Kirk, Sally Merry, Virginia Metaxas, Min Dongchao, Monique Mironesco, Rhacel Parrenas, Lucinda Peach, Vivian Price, Jyoti Puri, Judith Raiskin, Nancy Riley, Saskia Sassen, Teresia Teaiwa, Chris Yano, Yau Ching.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6262-6
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword: Knowledge Practices and Subject-making
    (pp. ix-x)
    Saskia Sassen

    This is a book that unsettles existing arrangements and knowledge practices. The authors in this extraordinary collection focus on sites where we can detect the types of knowledge practices and subject-making that go into constituting the center, including the normative center, of diverse realities. They capture and describe the cultural laboring that it takes to produce that center and its stabilized meanings, no matter how precarious its beginnings may have been. They lay bare the cultural work of building agreement and shared norms, and of constituting some elements as central and others as marginal or extreme—specifically in this book,...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Kathy E. Ferguson, Sally Engle Merry and Monique Mironesco

    What is globalization? How is it gendered? How does it work in the complex and varied societies of Asia and the Pacific?

    This collection of sixteen original essays offers critical feminist analyses of dynamic global processes. We take our three anchor concepts—gender, globalization, Asia/Pacific—as points on an interactive triangle. There is no single starting point, but rather an energetic and changing set of relationships among the three areas. Each point both causes and is affected by changes in the others. Our inquiries are produced out of the vigorous intellectual energy our triad of concepts provokes. We take fresh...

  6. I. Confronting Colonial Discourses

    • CHAPTER 2 Telling Tales Out of School: Sia Figiel and Indigenous Knowledge in Pacific Islands Literature
      (pp. 15-36)
      Judith Raiskin

      Siniva, the village fool and madwoman prophet of Sia Figiel’s 1996 novel,where we once belonged, having returned to Samoa with a BA and MA in history after ten years in New Zealand, sits in the marketplace yelling at the tourists: “Go back where you came from, you fucking ghosts! Gauguin is dead! There is no paradise!” Represented as the first student to leave Samoa on a scholarship, Siniva is expected by her family and village to use herpalagi(white) education to secure a job in government or business. Instead, she returns, committed to reminding her village about Samoan...

    • CHAPTER 3 “Licentiousness has slain its hundreds of thousands”: The Missionary Discourse of Sex, Death, and Disease in Nineteenth-century Hawai‘i
      (pp. 37-56)
      Virginia Metaxas

      In 1838 American missionary physician Gerrit Parmele Judd published the medical textbookAnatomia, 1838at the Lahainaluna Missionary Seminary, with the purpose of using the book to train native healers in western medicine.¹ Nearly twenty years since the abolition of thekapusystem and the establishment of Christianity by New England missionaries, and reeling from the deaths caused by newly introduced infectious diseases, Hawaiians perceived that their world was about to collapse. The very appearance ofAnatomia, 1838marked a major challenge to centuries of Hawaiian cultural and religious beliefs and practices about health, disease, and healing. As Figure 3.1...

  7. II. Cultural Translations

    • CHAPTER 4 Gay Sexualities and Complicities: Rethinking the Global Gay
      (pp. 59-78)
      Jyoti Puri

      Claims about global, even “planetary” gay sexualities are difficult to sidestep for a project interested in lesbian, gay, and bisexual sexualities in contemporary India. The notion of the “global gay” (Dennis Altman’s term, 1997) crystallizes the position that alongside economic and other cultural aspects, sexualities are also becoming globalized; due to the conjoined effects of global capital and sexual politics since the Stonewall era, Euro-American-style sexual identities have been exported to the non-west. The globalization of sexuality is seen as shaped, but not determined, by U.S. hegemony and global capital, and the effects of local culture are emphasized. Cautioning against...

    • CHAPTER 5 “What about Other Translation Routes (East–West)?” The Concept of the Term “Gender” Traveling into and throughout China
      (pp. 79-98)
      Min Dongchao

      Commenting in her 2001 article on traveling theory and translation relating to feminism, Claudia de Lima Costa poses an intriguing question: “… there’s a tendency to see the south translating the north…. What about other translation routes (east-west)?” I am interested in issues pertaining to why and how the ideas and knowledges of feminism and Women’s Studies travel from “here” (the west) to “there” (China). From whom and to whom do they flow; how and for what reasons? In what form are they received, understood, and localized? Like de Lima Costa, I recognize an ongoing tendency to see translation routes...

  8. III. Media

    • CHAPTER 6 Gaze Upon Sakura: Imaging Japanese Americans on Japanese TV
      (pp. 101-120)
      Christine R. Yano

      The critiques of portrayals of Asian American women by American media are numerous. On film, stage, television, and magazines, the Suzie Wongs have blended far too easily into the Madame Butterflies, conflating Asian Americans with Asians, exoticizing both as mysterious and sexually alluring. We aresake-pouring geishas, kung-fu dragon ladies with slanted eyes and other body parts, or more recently a Charlie’s Angel with a twist.¹ Our hair is inevitably long, black, and straight, our bodies slight and presumably supple. We are both desirable and dangerous in our otherness. As bell hooks argues, otherness attracts as “a new delight, more...

    • CHAPTER 7 Globalizing Gender Culture: Transnational Cultural Flows and the Intensification of Male Dominance in India
      (pp. 121-137)
      Steve Derné

      Arjun Appadurai famously suggested that increasing transnational movements of people and media prompt people to “consider a wider set of possible lives than they ever did before” (1996: 53). This process of globalization suddenly intensified in India in 1991 when the Indian government acceded to International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands that the economy be opened. With decreased restrictions on media and the desire of advertisers to reach the newly available Indian market, new foreign media flooded into India from western centers. While Indians of diverse classes began enjoying the new media and were attracted to cosmopolitan fashion and consumption, the...

    • CHAPTER 8 Performing Contradictions, Performing Bad-Girlness in Japan
      (pp. 138-158)
      Yau Ching

      I have been teaching media production workshops to teenagers in reform and correctional facilities in various parts of East Asia since 2000. This chapter will focus mainly on the issues raised during my teaching at a girls’ reform institute in Japan in 2002.¹ This public institution operates like a school, devoting part of the girls’ time to a regular high school curriculum, but with more emphasis on discipline and conformity. The girls, who have committed diverse levels of offense, reside at the institute and are not allowed to leave it. The group selected by the institute to participate in my...

  9. IV. Labor, Migration, and Families

    • CHAPTER 9 The Social Imaginary and Kin Recruitment: Mexican Women Reshaping Domestic Work
      (pp. 161-175)
      Maria de la Luz Ibarra

      In the twenty-first century, the processes of globalization have helped shape a new organization of social reproduction in the United States. This organization is characterized by reliance, on the part of families and individuals, on paid workers to perform a broad range of domestic tasks in private homes. This new organization is also characterized by the fact that the domestics are migrant women from the third world, women who have left their homes because of structural and social constraints and have come to the United States due to an expanding low-wage service economy and the maturation of social networks. Thus...

    • CHAPTER 10 Breaking the Code: Women, Labor Migration, and the 1987 Family Code of the Republic of the Philippines
      (pp. 176-194)
      Rhacel Salazar Parreñas

      Outnumbering their male counterparts since 1995, migrant Filipino women—a group that has been referred to as the “breadwinners of the nation” (Mission 1998)—contribute much of the remittances that sustain and provide the national economy with its largest source of foreign currency. In fact, former President Corazon Aquino, in a speech delivered to Filipina domestic workers in Hong Kong, acknowledged migrant women workers as the nation’s “new heroes” (Rafael 1997). Notably, we should add to this group the women in export-processing zones, as they generate another large source of foreign currency for the Philippines. Considering that women’s labor provides...

    • CHAPTER 11 Headloads: The Technologizing of Work and the Gendering of Labor
      (pp. 195-212)
      Vivian Price

      Glynn Holleran, Technical Director for VSS Asphalt, describes very accurately what the operations of a road repair crew in India look like:

      To see a crew patching potholes is an education in labor intensity. One hot and steamy Saturday afternoon, I was being driven to Indian Oil Company’s research and development center outside New Delhi. We stopped at an intersection where a crew was patching. The process was fascinating as there seemed to be very little, if any, mechanization. Some women were improving aggregate with hammers, and an ancient bitumen kettle was bubbling over an open fire. Groups of women...

    • CHAPTER 12 Gender and Modernity in a Chinese Economic Zone
      (pp. 213-230)
      Nancy E. Riley

      Despite long hours of often monotonous labor in difficult conditions, women working in the Dalian Economic Zone (DEZ) in Northeast China refer to the zone and their lives there as “paradise.” They speak glowingly of their lives in Dalian, ready to point out how lucky they are. This chapter examines this stance in light of the lives of these women and in the context of the place and role of the urban, both physically and discursively, in China today. Women in contemporary China operate and strategize within many systems of inequality; I argue that two of the most central to...

  10. V. Trafficking

    • CHAPTER 13 Female Sex Slavery or Just Women’s Work? Prostitution and Female Subjectivity within Anti-trafficking Discourses
      (pp. 233-252)
      Lucinda Joy Peach

      Along with increasing globalization in other arenas, the trafficking in persons has become a global business in recent years. Human trafficking is conducted for a variety of purposes, including domestic and childcare work, sweatshop and migrant labor, child labor, “mail-order bride businesses,” and so on. A significant percentage of human trafficking is for the purpose of prostitution and other forms of commercial sex work,¹ especially in parts of South and Southeast Asia, although statistics on the number of persons trafficked for sex or any other form of labor vary tremendously.² Some persons are trafficked within the terms of the U.N....

    • CHAPTER 14 “Do No Harm”: The Asian Female Migrant and Feminist Debates in the Global Anti-trafficking Movement
      (pp. 253-272)
      Nancie Caraway

      William Greider’s aptly titled 1997 book,One World—which examines the then-emergent formations of market capitalism—resonates with insights that bare the inner gears of what legions of neoliberal economists and other scholars have come to call globalization. Greider’s great subject, allowing a poetic term of art, ishuman gravitas, or, in the development-savvy philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s language,human thriving(Nussbaum and Sen 1993). Greider’s insights reveal globalization as a world-historical phenomenon that orders human beings in a differential system of rewards and exclusions—whether they areready or not:

      The deepest meaning of the global industrial revolution is that...

  11. VI. Militarization

    • CHAPTER 15 Gender, Globalization, and Militarization: An Interview with Cynthia Enloe
      (pp. 275-293)
      Kathy E. Ferguson, Gwyn Kirk, Monique Mironesco and Cynthia Enloe

      KF: Cynthia, thank you very much for helping us think about the triangle of relationships among gender, globalization, and militarism. How do you think about the interactions among those three areas?

      CE: First, let’s talk a bit about method. I try to think about causality. I realize this makes me sound like a creature of the Enlightenment, but I think we need to think about cause and effect. I also focus on process, on the huge number of steps that have to be taken and retaken to make gender relations, globalizing relations, and militarizing relationshappen.

      So I try to...

    • CHAPTER 16 Environmental Effects of U.S. Military Security: Gendered Experiences from the Philippines, South Korea, and Japan
      (pp. 294-317)
      Gwyn Kirk

      Militarist policies and ideologies valorize preparations for war, threats of war, and ultimately war itself as the only effective way of providing for state security. The realist paradigm in international relations, dominant in political, military, and academic thinking about national security, assumes “a hostile international environment” in which “sovereign, self-interested states” seek their own security through a balance of political and military power among them (Tickner 2001: 38). In this view, war is always a possibility, and “states must rely on their own power and capabilities rather than international agreements to enhance their national security” (ibid.). Michael Renner underscores this...

    • CHAPTER 17 Globalizing and Gendered Forces: The Contemporary Militarization of Pacific/Oceania
      (pp. 318-332)
      Teresia K. Teaiwa

      Michael Moore’s controversial award-winning documentary filmFahrenheit 9/11(2004) outlined a veritable conspiracy by the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush to use the events of September 11, 2001, to justify U.S. military invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. While Bush’s “War on Terror” has irrevocably shaped international relations in the twenty-first century, Moore’s success in accessing mass audiences has provided a model—some hope—for constituencies of dissent in the United States and around the world. I, for one, sitting in the Rialto cinema in Wellington, New Zealand, during a screening ofFahrenheit 9/11, was fairly convinced by most...

  12. VII. Conclusion

    • CHAPTER 18 Advancing Feminist Thinking on Globalization
      (pp. 335-358)
      Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco

      We bring this intellectual and political journey to an end, not with a final summary or act of closure, but with our reflections on what we have learned and where we might go from here. While no single or unified conclusion is available, or indeed desired, to sum up this complex, layered material, the collective force of these analyses makes fresh thinking possible. Returning to the three umbrella themes we developed in our introduction, we find that the first two—representations/reproductions and spaces/borders—have endured while morphing in unanticipated directions, but the third—voices/bodies—has dispersed among the others and...

  13. References
    (pp. 359-398)
  14. List of Contributors
    (pp. 399-402)
  15. Index
    (pp. 403-420)