Most research on female labor migration in Thailand focuses on that country's infamous sex industry. Mary Beth Mills offers the first extended ethnographic analysis of rural women's movement into less visible occupations, paying particular attention to the hundreds of thousands of young women who fill the factories and sweatshops of the Bangkok metropolis. Mills follows the women as they travel from the village of Baan Naa Sakae to Bangkok, where they encounter new forms of consumption, new "modern" lifestyles, and a new sense of identity. She finds this rural-urban migration is more than a simple economic activity, but rather an elaborate process of cultural change.
Mills describes the environments from which these women left, as well as the urban landscape they now call home. Hence, she examines key aspects of rural Thai community life, such as local consumption practices, gender roles, and the familial tensions that are often the catalyst to labor migration. Then she focuses on the city and the underlying tensions of urban employment as migrants pursue newly imagined identities as modern women, while still upholding economic and moral responsibilities to rural kin.
The lives of youth with disabilities have changed radically in the past fifty years. Youth who are coming of age right now are the first generation to receive educational services throughout childhood and adolescence. Disability policies have opened up opportunities to youth, and they have responded by getting higher levels of education than ever before. Yet many youth are being left behind, compared to their peers without disabilities. Youth with disabilities often still face major obstacles to independence.
In Their Time Has Come, Valerie Leiter argues that there are crucial missing links between federal disability policies and the lives of young people. Youth and their parents struggle to gather information about the resources that disability policies have created, and youth are not typically prepared to use their disability rights effectively. Her argument is based on thorough examination of federal disability policy and interviews with young people with disabilities, their parents, and rehabilitation professionals. Attention is given to the diversity of expectations, the resources available to them, and the impact of federal policy and public and private attitudes on their transition to adulthood.
A study of the growth of the indigenous labor force in upper Peru (now Bolivia) during colonial times. Ann Zulawski provides case studies in mining and agriculture, and places her data within a larger historical context than analyzes Iberian and Andean concepts of gender, property, and labor. She concludes that although mercantilism made a critical impact in the New World, the colonial economic system in the Andes was not yet capitalist. Attitudes of both indigenous peoples and Spanish colonizers hindered the process of turning work into a commodity. In addition, the mobilization of labor power both reinforced and undermined each society's ideas about the economic and social roles of men and women.
This first book of a three-volume study examines the way trade policies in developing countries affect the level and composition of employment. There is special emphasis on the effects of import substitution policies that attempt to make a country self-sufficient by producing local substitutes for imports, as compared with policies that further the expansion of imports.
Ten countries are studied: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, the Ivory Coast, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. The contributors to the volume analyze the link between trade strategies and employment within a common framework, and the analyses of trade policy include the level and structure of protection, the relation of trade policy to labor demand, the labor intensiveness of trade, and the extent of distortions in factor markets and their effects on trade.
Factor Supply and Substitution, the second in a three-volume study entitled Trade and Employment in Developing Countries, extends the analysis of trade regimes and employment both in depth for single countries and through cross-country analyses. It provides important new evidence of the effects of different trade policies and of the effects of the various factors that make up these policies—exchange rates, wages, social insurance and other taxes, credit, prices, and so on. All six studies reflect a carefully coordinated research strategy that has been carried out by a first-rate team. The researchers combine technical expertise with specialized knowledge of the individual countries.
The NBER project on alternative trade strategies and employment analyzed the extent to which employment and income distribution are affected by the choice of trade strategies and by the interaction of trade policies with domestic policies and market distortions. This book, the third and final volume to come from that project, brings together the theory underlying the trade strategies-employment relation and the empirical evidence emanating from the project.
Lynn Stephen’s innovative ethnography follows indigenous Mexicans from two towns in the state of Oaxaca—the Mixtec community of San Agustín Atenango and the Zapotec community of Teotitlán del Valle—who periodically leave their homes in Mexico for extended periods of work in California and Oregon. Demonstrating that the line separating Mexico and the United States is only one among the many borders that these migrants repeatedly cross (including national, regional, cultural, ethnic, and class borders and divisions), Stephen advocates an ethnographic framework focused on transborder, rather than transnational, lives. Yet she does not disregard the state: She assesses the impact migration has had on local systems of government in both Mexico and the United States as well as the abilities of states to police and affect transborder communities.
Stephen weaves the personal histories and narratives of indigenous transborder migrants together with explorations of the larger structures that affect their lives. Taking into account U.S. immigration policies and the demands of both commercial agriculture and the service sectors, she chronicles how migrants experience and remember low-wage work in agriculture, landscaping, and childcare and how gender relations in Oaxaca and the United States are reconfigured by migration. She looks at the ways that racial and ethnic hierarchies inherited from the colonial era—hierarchies that debase Mexico’s indigenous groups—are reproduced within heterogeneous Mexican populations in the United States. Stephen provides case studies of four grass-roots organizations in which Mixtec migrants are involved, and she considers specific uses of digital technology by transborder communities. Ultimately Stephen demonstrates that transborder migrants are reshaping notions of territory and politics by developing creative models of governance, education, and economic development as well as ways of maintaining their cultures and languages across geographic distances.
In 1898, the year Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was inaugurated, five hundred women organized an enormous public exhibition showcasing women’s contributions to Dutch society as workers in a strikingly broad array of professions. The National Exhibition of Women’s Labor, held in The Hague, was attended by more than ninety thousand visitors. Maria Grever and Berteke Waaldijk consider the exhibition in the international contexts of women’s history, visual culture, and imperialism.
A comprehensive social history, Transforming the Public Sphere describes the planning and construction of the Exhibition of Women’s Labor and the event itself—the sights, the sounds, and the smells—as well as the role of exhibitions in late-nineteenth-century public culture. The authors discuss how the 1898 exhibition displayed the range and variety of women’s economic, intellectual, and artistic roles in Dutch culture, including their participation in such traditionally male professions as engineering, diamond-cutting, and printing and publishing. They examine how people and goods from the Dutch colonies were represented, most notably in an extensive open-air replica of a “Javanese village.” Grever and Waaldijk reveal the tensions the exhibition highlighted: between women of different economic classes; between the goal of equal rights for women and the display of imperial subjects and spoils; and between socialists and feminists, who competed fiercely with one another for working women’s support. Transforming the Public Sphere explores an event that served as the dress rehearsal for advances in women’s public participation during the twentieth century.
Transnational Aging and Reconfigurations of Kin Work documents the social and material contributions of older persons to their families in settings shaped by migration, their everyday lives in domestic and community spaces, and in the context of intergenerational relationships and diasporas. Much of this work is oriented toward supporting, connecting, and maintaining kin members and kin relationships—the work that enables a family to reproduce and regenerate itself across generations and across the globe.