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The Gender of Globalization

Women Navigating Cultural and Economic Marginalities

Edited by Nandini Gunewardena & Ann Kingsolver

As “globalization” moves rapidly from buzzword to cliché, evaluating the claims of neoliberal capitalism to empower and enrich remains urgently important. The authors in this volume employ feminist, ethnographic methods to examine what free trade and export processing zones, economic liberalization, and currency reform mean to women in Argentina, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Ghana, the United States, India, Jamaica, and many other places. Heralded as agents of prosperity and liberation, neoliberal economic policies have all too often refigured and redoubled the burdens of gender, race, caste, class, and regional subordination that women bear. Traders, garment factory operatives, hotel managers and maids, small farmers and agricultural laborers, garbage pickers, domestic caregivers, daughters, wives, and mothers: Women around the world are struggling to challenge the tendency of globalization talk to veil their marginalization.

2008. 376 pp., 2 illustrations, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Mary Anglin, A. Lynn Bolles, Karen Brodkin, William L. Conwill, Ulrika Dahl, Akosua K. Darkwah, Nandini Gunewardena, Faye V. Harrison, Ann Kingsolver, Louise Lamphere, Mary H. Moran, Annapurna Pandey, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Sandy Smith-Nonini, Barbara Sutton

Awards: 2011 Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Prize

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“In addition to specialists, this book will be a useful resource for upper division undergraduates and beginning graduate students studying work, economic anthropology, gender, globalization, and class issues.

One of the book’s greatest strengths is that, as a collection, it addresses side by side the similarities between marginalized women in very different areas of the globe while never losing track of the particular differences that geography, class, caste, ethnicity, race, and even age can have on the ways in which women experience the problems and possibilities of globalization.”
—Alicia DeNicola, Anthropology of Work Review, Vol. XXIX, No. 3

“This volume, a welcome addition to humanitiesand social sciences libraries, helps bring ethnographic richness to other works of political economy and gender.

Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.

…wonderful, timely addition to the literature on women and globalization, women in development, and gender and development….”
—S. K. Gallagher, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, Vol. 45, No, 11, August 2008

“A landmark volume, The Gender of Globalization fills a gap in the literature documenting the gendered consequences of globalization. The richly textured descriptions show how diverse women respond to the forces of globalization in unique ways.”
—SirReadaLot.org March 2008

“From the fabric of individual lives emerge the stories of women who have carved a place for themselves amid a series of social and economic processes known as globalization. Their stories might well have gone untold had it not been for the artful work of the anthropologists and sociologists who contributed the studies in this text. Their ethnographic research and credible presentation of findings form fibers with intricate patters that, when woven together by the skillful hands of the editors, create a compelling tapestry. The text offers the reader a unique opportunity to study the similarities that exist across the globe when examining the plight of marginalized women, while also providing an illuminating discussion of changes in gender equality transnationally. The richness of the text rests in the power of each contributor to offer the reader an inside look at the realities of a group of women, while providing a meaningful discussion of the socio-economic and historical context, thereby helping the reader to fully appreciate the multifacted nature of the impact of globalization.”
—Johnelle Luciani, Journal of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought, vol. 3, Issue 1, Article 6

“The book makes an important contribution in the growing field of gender and globalization…by analyzing sites that are not commonly addressed or women who are not represented in the literature.”
—Manisha Desai, University of Connecticut


  1. Introduction
    Nandini Gunewardena and Ann Kingsolver
  2. Feminist Methodology as a Tool for Ethnographic Inquiry on Globalization
    Faye V. Harrison
  3. Disrupting Subordination and Negotiating Belonging: Women Workers in the Transnational Production Sites of Sri Lanka
    Nandini Gunewardena
  4. Making Hay while the Sun Shines: Ghanaian Female Traders and Their Insertion into the Global Economy
    Akosua K. Darkwah
  5. Clothing Difference: Commodities and Consumption in Southeastern Liberia
    Mary H. Moran
  6. Progressive Women, Traditional Men: Globalization, Migration, and Equality in the Northern Periphery of the European Union
    Ulrika Dahl
  7. Neoliberal Policy as Structural Violence: Its Links to Domestic Violence in Black Communities in the United States
    William L. Conwill
  8. Gendered Bodily Scars of Neoliberal Globalization in Argentina
    Barbara Sutton
  9. Geographies of Race and Class: The Place and Placelessness of Migrant Filipina Domestic Workers
    Rhacel Salazar Parreñas
  10. Sticking to the Union: Anthropologists and “Union Maids” in San Francisco
    Sandy Smith-Nonini
  11. “The Caribbean Is on Sale”: Globalization and Women Tourist Workers in Jamaica
    A. Lynn Bolles
  12. In the Fields of Free Trade: Gender and Plurinational En/Countering of Neoliberal Agricultural Policies
    Ann Kingsolver
  13. Globalization, Swadeshi, and Women’s Movements in Orissa, India
    Annapurna Pandey
  14. Complex Negotiations: Gender, Capitalism, and Relations of Power
    Mary Anglin and Louise Lamphere
  15. Navigating Paradoxical Globalizations
    Ann Kingsolver
  16. Gendered Repression, Women’s Resistance, and Reconstituting Marginality
    Nandini Gunewardena
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.