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Genders in Production

Making Workers in Mexico's Global Factories

Leslie Salzinger (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 232 pages
ISBN: 9780520235397
April 2003
$34.95, £24.95
In this engrossing and original book, Leslie Salzinger takes us with her into the gendered world of Mexico's global factories. Her careful ethnographic work, personal voice, and sophisticated analysis capture the feel of life inside the maquiladoras and make a compelling case that transnational production is a gendered process. The research grounds contemporary feminist theory in an examination of daily practices and provides an important new perspective on globalization.
Leslie Salzinger is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.
“This engaging study teaches us about labor control mechanisms, what gender has to do with them, and the capacity of gender to acquire both durable and malleable meanings. It will undoubtedly become a favorite in undergraduate gender courses as well an indispensable reference for serious scholars of gender in the global economy.”—Industrial & Labor Relations Review
“Salzinger’s keen eye for detail . . . readers feel as if they are . . . experiencing first-hand the visual surveillance.”—Altha J. Cravey The Professional Geographer
"The title of this book has a double resonance: it refers to the ways that factories on the U.S.-Mexican border both structure gendered labor forces and, in so doing, produce gender itself. Through case studies of employment and management in four different factories, Salzinger beautifully demonstrates the variability and flexibility of concepts of masculinity and femininity, the fact that they are context-dependent performative behaviors. The ethnographically based empirical data provided, as well as the sophisticated mastery of theory, make this book an unusually rich contribution to the fields of international labor and gender studies."—Joan W. Scott, author of Gender and the Politics of History

"This is an archeology of gendering. Salzinger brilliantly traces the specificities, variability, and contingencies in the emergence of gendered subjects across different production environments, moving from femininity as attribute to femininity as generative. In so doing she launches a new phase in the study of women employed in off-shore production, with significant implications for women in factories generally."—Saskia Sassen, author of The Global City

"This is a book Border Studies has been waiting for—a pathbreaking study of the gendered meanings and identities at work in the transnational assembly plants that dominate the social landscape of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico…. It will surely become a classic in the field."—Pablo Vila, author of Crossing Borders, Reinforcing Borders, and Ethnography at the Border

Bryce Wood Book Award, Honorable Mention, Latin American Studies Association

Sex and Gender Section, Honorable Mention, American Sociological Association

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