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Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series

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Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series

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Living with Lupus

Women and Chronic Illness in Ecuador

By Ann Miles

Enriched with ethnographic stories of Ecuadorian women who struggle with the autoimmune disorder, lupus erythematosus, this book is one of the first to explore the meanings and experiences of medically managed chronic illness in the developing world.

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Making Up the Difference

Women, Beauty, and Direct Selling in Ecuador

By Erynn Masi de Casanova

Globalization and economic restructuring have decimated formal jobs in developing countries, pushing many women into informal employment such as direct selling of cosmetics, perfume, and other personal care products as a way to “make up the difference” between household income and expenses. In Ecuador, with its persistent economic crisis and few opportunities for financially and personally rewarding work, women increasingly choose direct selling as a way to earn income by activating their social networks. While few women earn the cars and trips that are iconic prizes in the direct selling organization, many use direct selling as part of a set of household survival strategies. In this first in-depth study of a cosmetics direct selling organization in Latin America, Erynn Masi de Casanova explores women’s identities as workers, including their juggling of paid work and domestic responsibilities, their ideas about professional appearance, and their strategies for collecting money from customers. Focusing on women who work for the country’s leading direct selling organization, she offers fascinating portraits of the everyday lives of women selling personal care products in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil. Addressing gender relations (including a look at men’s direct and indirect involvement), the importance of image, and the social and economic context of direct selling, Casanova challenges assumptions that this kind of flexible employment resolves women’s work/home conflicts and offers an important new perspective on women’s work in developing countries.

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Mayan Voices for Human Rights

Displaced Catholics in Highland Chiapas

By Christine Kovic

In the last decades of the twentieth century, thousands of Mayas were expelled, often violently, from their homes in San Juan Chamula and other highland communities in Chiapas, Mexico, by fellow Mayas allied with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). State and federal authorities generally turned a blind eye to these human rights abuses, downplaying them as local conflicts over religious conversion and defense of cultural traditions. The expelled have organized themselves to fight not only for religious rights, but also for political and economic justice based on a broad understanding of human rights. This pioneering ethnography tells the intertwined stories of the new communities formed by the Mayan exiles and their ongoing efforts to define and defend their human rights. Focusing on a community of Mayan Catholics, the book describes the process by which the progressive Diocese of San Cristóbal and Bishop Samuel Ruiz García became powerful allies for indigenous people in the promotion and defense of human rights. Drawing on the words and insights of displaced Mayas she interviewed throughout the 1990s, Christine Kovic reveals how the exiles have created new communities and lifeways based on a shared sense of faith (even between Catholics and Protestants) and their own concept of human rights and dignity. She also uncovers the underlying political and economic factors that drove the expulsions and shows how the Mayas who were expelled for not being “traditional” enough are in fact basing their new communities on traditional values of duty and reciprocity.

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Missing Mila, Finding Family

An International Adoption in the Shadow of the Salvadoran Civil War

By Margaret E. Ward

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Mixing It Up

Multiracial Subjects

Edited by SanSan Kwan and Kenneth Speirs

The United States Census 2000 presents a twenty-first century America in which mixed-race marriages, cross-race adoption, and multiracial families in general are challenging the ethnic definitions by which the nation has historically categorized its population. Addressing a wide spectrum of questions raised by this rich new cultural landscape, Mixing It Up brings together the observations of ten noted voices who have experienced multiracialism first-hand. From Naomi Zack’s “American Mixed Race: The United States 2000 Census and Related Issues” to Cathy Irwin and Sean Metzger’s “Keeping Up Appearances: Ethnic Alien-Nation in Female Solo Performance,” this diverse collection spans the realities of multiculturalism in compelling new analysis. Arguing that society’s discomfort with multiracialism has been institutionalized throughout history, whether through the “one drop” rule or media depictions, SanSan Kwan and Kenneth Speirs reflect on the means by which the monoracial lens is slowly being replaced. Itself a hybrid of memoir, history, and sociological theory, Mixing It Up makes it clear why the identity politics of previous decades have little relevance to the fluid new face of contemporary humanity.

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A Right to Health

Medicine, Marginality, and Health Care Reform in Northeastern Brazil

By Jessica Scott Jerome

This ethnographic study of a low-income neighborhood in the northeastern state of Ceará analyzes the complicated and compromised realities of Brazil’s universal health care system, pointing the way toward more successful planning of future reforms.

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A Tortilla Is Like Life

Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado

By Carole M. Counihan

Located in the southern San Luis Valley of Colorado, the remote and relatively unknown town of Antonito is home to an overwhelmingly Hispanic population struggling not only to exist in an economically depressed and politically marginalized area, but also to preserve their culture and their lifeways. Between 1996 and 2006, anthropologist Carole Counihan collected food-centered life histories from nineteen Mexicanas—Hispanic American women—who had long-standing roots in the Upper Rio Grande region. The interviews in this groundbreaking study focused on southern Colorado Hispanic foodways—beliefs and behaviors surrounding food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption. In this book, Counihan features extensive excerpts from these interviews to give voice to the women of Antonito and highlight their perspectives. Three lines of inquiry are framed: feminist ethnography, Latino cultural citizenship, and Chicano environmentalism. Counihan documents how Antonito’s Mexicanas establish a sense of place and belonging through their knowledge of land and water and use this knowledge to sustain their families and communities. Women play an important role by gardening, canning, and drying vegetables; earning money to buy food; cooking; and feeding family, friends, and neighbors on ordinary and festive occasions. They use food to solder or break relationships and to express contrasting feelings of harmony and generosity, or enmity and envy. The interviews in this book reveal that these Mexicanas are resourceful providers whose food work contributes to cultural survival.

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What Women Watched

Daytime Television in the 1950s

By Marsha F. Cassidy

In this pathfinding book, based on original archival research, Marsha F. Cassidy offers the first thorough analysis of daytime television’s earliest and most significant women’s genres, appraising from a feminist perspective what women watched before soap opera rose to prominence. After providing a comprehensive history of the early days of women’s programming across the nation, Cassidy offers a critical discussion of the formats, programs, and celebrities that launched daytime TV in America—Kate Smith’s variety show and the famed singer’s unsuccessful transition from patriotic radio star to 1950s TV idol; the “charm boys” Garry Moore, Arthur Godfrey, and Art Linkletter, whose programs honored women’s participation but in the process established the dominance of male hosts on TV; and the “misery shows” Strike It Rich and Glamour Girl and the controversy, both critical and legal, they stirred up. Cassidy then turns to NBC’s Home show, starring the urbane Arlene Francis, who infused the homemaking format with Manhattan sophistication, and the ambitious daily anthology drama Matinee Theater, which strove to differentiate itself from soap opera and become a national theater of the air. She concludes with an analysis of four popular audience participation shows of the era—the runaway hit Queen for a Day; Ralph Edwards’s daytime show of surprises, It Could Be You; Who Do You Trust?, starring a youthful Johnny Carson; and The Big Payoff, featuring Bess Myerson, the country’s first Jewish Miss America. Cassidy’s close feminist reading of these shows clearly demonstrates how daytime TV mirrored the cultural pressures, inconsistencies, and ambiguities of the postwar era.

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Whose School Is It?

Women, Children, Memory, and Practice in the City

By Rhoda H. Halperin

Whose School Is It?: Women, Children, Memory, and Practice in the City is a success story with roadblocks, crashes, and detours. Rhoda Halperin uses feminist theorist and activist Gloria Anzaldúa's ideas about borderlands created by colliding cultures to deconstruct the creation and advancement of a public community charter school in a diverse, long-lived urban neighborhood on the Ohio River. Class, race, and gender mix with age, local knowledge, and place authenticity to create a page-turning story of grit, humor, and sheer stubbornness. The school has grown and flourished in the face of daunting market forces, class discrimination, and an increasingly unfavorable national climate for charter schools. Borderlands are tense spaces. The school is a microcosm of the global city. Many theoretical strands converge in this book—feminist theory, ideas about globalization, class analysis, and accessible narrative writing—to present some new approaches in urban anthropology. The book is multi-voiced and nuanced in ways that provide authenticity and texture to the real circumstances of urban lives. At the same time, identities are threatened as community practices clash with rules and regulations imposed by outsiders. Since it is based on fifteen years of ethnographic fieldwork in the community and the city, Whose School Is It? brings unique long-term perspectives on continuities and disjunctures in cities. Halperin's work as researcher and advocate also provides insider perspectives that are rare in the literature of urban anthropology.

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