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Love and Globalization

Transformations of Intimacy in the Contemporary World

Edited by Mark B. Padilla, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Miguel Muñoz-Laboy, Robert Sember, and Richard G. Parker

Publication Year: 2007

Discussions of globalization usually focus on political, economic, and technological transformations, but fail to recognize how we experience these processes in our daily lives, including our most intimate acts and practices. In this volume, anthropologists and sociologists draw on long-term ethnographic research on love, gender, and sexuality in a broad range of regions to discuss how global forces shape marriage, commercial sex, the political economy of intimacy, and lesbian and gay expressions of companionship. The richly-textured ethnographies provoke a series of questions about emerging vocabularies for friendship and romance; the adoption of cultural forms from faraway places; the emergence of new desires, pleasures, and emotions that circulate as commodities in the global marketplace; and the ways economic processes shape public and private expressions of sexual intimacy.

Published by: Vanderbilt University Press

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-

The initial meeting that provided a point of departure for this book was held at Columbia University in April 2004, with support provided by the Ford Foundation through its grant for the project Sexuality, Culture, and Society (Grant #1020– 148103; Principal Investigator Richard G. Parker, PhD), based in the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Health and the Department of Sociomedical Sciences of the...

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Introduction: Cross-Cultural Reflections on an Intimate Intersection

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pp. ix-xxxi

What is love? A virtue? A form of knowledge? An instinct? And what does the contemplation of love illuminate about fundamental human experiences, such as intimacy, sexual and marital bonding, gender relations, kinship, consumption, and pleasure? Love, in the framing of Jacques Derrida, is the original and central question of philosophy, providing a basis for the development...

Part I. Love and Inequality

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pp. 1-

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1. Neoliberalism and the Marriage of Reputation and Respectability: Entrepreneurship and the Barbadian Middle Class

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pp. 3-37

For increasing numbers of Barbadians today the pursuit of middle-class livelihood and status and the desire for new paths of creative self-invention and economic “success” are being sought through entrepreneurship. Many critics see this phenomenon in developing countries as evidence of the manipulations and ever-expanding reach of capitalist globalization enabled through neoliberal policies that...

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2. Tourism and Tigueraje: The Structures of Love and Silence among Dominican Male Sex Workers

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pp. 38-69

On the popular radio programs that continuously emanate from the colmados (small corner stores) throughout the Dominican Republic, bachateros and merengueros1 often sing of the comic-tragic strategies that men employ in their (variously successful) attempts to evade detection during extra-marital affairs. Men frequently gather around a dominoes game or a bottle of Brugal (a popular local rum)...

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3. “If there is no feeling...”: The Dilemma between Silence and Coming Out in a Working-Class Butch/Femme Community in Jakarta

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pp. 70-90

Jakarta is a fast-growing metropolis of over 12 million people from all over Indonesia. The business center of the city boasts impressive glass towers of the hotels and banks from which the national and international corporate elite steers the economy of this vast archipelago of some 220 million inhabitants into the vortex of the global financial markets. The wealth, procured out of unbridled profits and...

Part II. Love, Sex, and the Social Organization of Intimacy

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pp. 91-

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4. “Love Makes a Family”: Globalization, Companionate Marriage, and the Modernization of Gender Inequality

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pp. 93-106

At a recent meeting of the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano (Christian Family Movement) in Degollado, Jalisco, Mexico, we celebrated the six couples who had just returned from a three-day marriage retreat. They spoke about how they felt closer to each other and to God, about the importance of being reminded not to take their spouse for granted. Afterward, there were tacos de papas (potato tacos) and...

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5. The Strange Marriage of Love and Interest: Economic Change and Emotional Intimacy in Northeast Brazil, Private and Public

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pp. 107-119

“If the mayor had love, my son would walk!” The woman spoke with deep indignation in response to my question: Que significa “amor”? (What does “love” mean?). I had heard many different answers to my question during fieldwork in Northeast Brazil. Some people answered with concerns about the emotional ties that bind families together, especially those between mothers and children, citing a...

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6. A Fluid Mechanics of Erotas and Aghape: Family Planning and Maternal Consumption in Contemporary Greece

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pp. 120-138

A decade ago when I was living in Athens, I was having dinner with a Greek friend when conversation turned to the topic of romantic relationships: “From my perspective,” Moira said, alluding to her divorcée status and contrasting her 40 years to my 25, “it’s more difficult for women today. Now that we [Athenian women] have the freedom to live on our own, more educational and occupational opportunities...

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7. Loving Your Infertile Muslim Spouse: Notes on the Globalization of IVF and Its Romantic Commitments in Sunni Egypt and Shia Lebanon

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pp. 139-160

Since the birth in 1978 of Louise Brown, the world’s first test-tube baby, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has spread around the globe, reaching countries far from the technology-producing nations of the West. Perhaps nowhere is this globalization process more evident than in the 22 nations of the Muslim Middle East, where a private IVF industry is flourishing. Today, IVF centers have opened in nations ranging...

Part III. Fantasy, Image, and the Commerce of Intimacy

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pp. 161-

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8. Playcouples in Paradise: Touristic Sexuality and Lifestyle Travel

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pp. 163-185

Sociological and anthropological analyses of tourism often focus on the problematic power relations involved, such as the complex and often exploitative relationships between tourists, their hosts, and the local sites. Tourism may seem to offer a panacea to economic ills facing modern communities and thus is often actively pursued on a number of developmental levels (Rothman 1998:17). Yet at...

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9. Buying and Selling the “Girlfriend Experience”: The Social and Subjective Contours of Market Intimacy

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pp. 186-202

In the back room of a discreetly furnished apartment in a quiet San Francisco neighborhood, I am sitting on a brown leather sofa talking with Amanda, who has just said good-bye to the day’s first customer. We drink tea as the early afternoon sunshine streams into the room, illuminating many overstuffed bookcases, an exercise bicycle, and Amanda herself—a slender woman in her late thirties with dark...

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10. Love Work in a Tourist Town: Dominican Sex Workers and Resort Workers Perform at Love

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pp. 203-225

“A Double Wedding” and “Love in the Caribbean,” the news headlines read.1 The local event in Sosúa—a tourist town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic—had become national news. Two white English female tourists met—and soon married—two Afro-Dominican male resort workers in a shared ceremony. They married two months after they had first met at the all-inclusive hotel in Sosúa where...

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11. Romancing the Club: Love Dynamics between Filipina Entertainers and GIs in U.S. Military Camp Towns in South Korea

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pp. 226-251

This chapter examines the discourse of romantic love in the negotiations and identity construction between service providers and customers in an industry known for the sexual objectification of Asian women—clubs in the R&R (rest and recreation) industry for U.S. military in South Korea (henceforth “Korea”). In Korea, these clubs are found around U.S. military camp towns (gijichon) that constitute...

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12. Love at First Site?: Visual Images and Virtual Encounters with Bodies

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pp. 252-269

This chapter takes the conceptual pairing of love and globalization as a point of departure for exploring some of the ways in which new global technologies—such as the Internet—are linked to intimate experiences of everyday life. Whereas globalization is commonly equated with large-scale, unidirectional, homogenizing economic, political, and cultural processes, it has also drawn anthropological...

Contributors

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pp. 271-272


E-ISBN-13: 9780826592385
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826515841
Print-ISBN-10: 0826515843

Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2007

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Globalization -- Social aspects -- Cross-cultural studies.
  • Sex -- Cross-cultural studies.
  • Love -- Cross-cultural studies.
  • Intimacy (Psychology) -- Cross-cultural studies.
  • Interpersonal relations -- Cross-cultural studies.
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