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Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and "Mail Order" Marriages 1St Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0520238701
ISBN-10: 0520238702
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Nicole Constable has produced a splendid sequel to her much-praised Maid to Order in Hong Kong. Constable's sensitive ethnography and her international scope insures that we see every Filipino and Chinese woman as a thinking, feeling person, and every American man who is her pen pal and sometimes future husband as far more than a mere cartoon character. Romance on a Global Stage wonderfully complicates the genderings and globalizings of power and emotions."—Cynthia Enloe, author of Bananas, Beaches and Bases

"The rise of feminism in North America has been paralleled by a growth in marriages between Western men and women from the global periphery. Constable's fascinating study explores the multiple desires at work, revealing the anti-feminist reason and feminist surprises in these global romances."—Aihwa Ong, author of Buddha Is Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, the New America

"Constable adds a new map to the cartographies of desire in this nuanced and fresh account of 'mail-order marriage.' Her original work carefully attends to emotion, sex, and political economy, offering a complex account of gender, marriage, and globalization."—Carole S. Vance, author of Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality

"This innovative and compassionate work maps new formations of desire in the context of globalization. Constable breaks through the stereotypes about transnational pen-pal marriages to enable us to see, in an ethnographically detailed way, how agency and desire are shaped by uneven economic development and how cyber-technologies figure in the production of new global imaginaries."—Ann Anagnost, author of National Past-times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China

"Constable is a talented and perceptive anthropologist who has mastered the use of the web both as a research tool and a topic of research. Her sensible and timely examination of transnational marriages of American men with women from the Philippines and China relentlessly debunks commonly-held tales about submissive (or manipulative) Asian women and wealthy (or abusive) American men."—Jean-Paul Dumont, author of Visayan Vignettes: Ethnographic Traces of a Philippine Island

About the Author

Nicole Constable is Professor of Anthropology and Research Professor at the University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh. She is the editor of Guest People (1996) and author of Maid to Order in Hong Kong (1997), and Christian Souls and Chinese Spirits (California, 1994).

Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1St Edition edition (September 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520238702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520238701
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #762,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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“Romance on a Global Stage” by Nicole Constable is a very unique book that explores the world of “mail-order brides” and the reality of the relationships formed.

I’m taking a course in sociolinguistics and chose the topic of mail-order brides as my research project. During my research into the subject, I learned that there have been very few anthropology/sociology studies on the topic. Constable’s book is the most concentrated study that dives deep into the subject than any other source I’ve discovered.

I approached this book as a person who is representative of the couples Constable befriends and writes about. I met my wife through an online website, traveled to China, instantly fell in love, and then spent the next year petitioning the US government to help her acquire a K1 marriage visa into the United States. It was the most unique, challenging, and rewarding experience of my life. We’ve been together for many years and now have a little boy who is the jewel of our relationship. She’s the most beautiful woman I have ever known—I’m referring mostly to her inner beauty, which is more important to me than her external beauty. She’s the love of my life.

Constable tackles the subject of “mail-order brides” by first approaching the research that has been done. She discusses this at length. Much of the studies are outdated, biased, and flawed. The concept of a mail-order bride is often mired in prejudice and misguided assumptions. This is also discussed.

She then goes into detail about how she approached her study, which was funded by grants and university funding. She became active in online user groups, forums, and chat groups. Her approach was to understand the online community and how this community facilitates communication.
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21 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Q on October 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The review column of Amazon is not an approriate place to flame or post such loud propaganda as some of the submitters before me have. In this case, such obnoxious attention-getting, no matter for what purpose, can seriously detract from the worthwhile merits of a profound study such as we have here. While the propagandist(s) only wish to draw attention to something he or she feels is vitally important and releveant, its very brash and 'partisan' (in this case, anti-feminist) style will actually turn people away from reading this book who otherwise might learn a lot from it. Constable's nuanced account of the "mail-order" bride paradigm and the varieties of Pacific Rim cross-cultural marriage issues are presented in a well-studied, first and third person narrative that is rich with real-life examples and specifics. In basic terms, her book makes a strong case for the varied nature of people involved in such relationships, and does not settle for glossing over them with simplistic and often unwholesome generalized demographics. This book is about real individuals, not theories. The conclusions Constable's book offer are based more on observations than philosophies. This is what makes it so engaging and valid to me. I recommend this book to anyone curious about so-called 'mail-order' marriages, and for those who have been around the scholarly block a few times and prefer NOT to read the sort of propagandist headlines as seen elsewhere above in this review column.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TaylorRussell on February 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was in great condition. It came to me in a timely manner and being a school book that is a good thing. It's very interesting in that it opens people up to a new anthropological approach to relationships.
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