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Book Review: GENDER AND GLOBALIZATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: Method, Practice, Theory. Edited by Kathy.. 2010

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 45 Electronic Book Review: Asia General questions that “may be used as a basis for class discussions.” The questions he raises are fundamental and essential, yet critical. They require a complete understanding of the context to answer. At the same time, they ask readers to think, and to have a sufficient background knowledge in East Asian affairs. Not all the textbooks perfectly satisify one’s intellectual curiosity. Admittedly, however, there are not too many flaws in Dent’s analyses and studies of East Asian regionalism, as he makes clear that his premises are derived strictly from IPE perspectives. Despite this, Dent somehow manages to overlook and/or undermine the importance of the American factor in the shaping of East Asian regionalism or East Asian regional frameworks, for that matter. While some of the frameworks are exclusively East Asian (e.g., ASEAN Plus Three (APT), Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI), East Asia Summit (EAS), others have America’s participation and, therefore, American implications. In those that the US is involved in, it plays a critical role in advancing East Asian regionalism, such as institutionalization. Conversely, in some cases, it is a hindrance and creates some adverse effects. The US, for instance, still adamantly adheres to the strategy of “hub and spoke,” relying on bilateral security alliances to secure its regional interests. Such a system of alliances reduces the room for maneuverability for the allies, making them more aware of the possibility that they might lose something should they decide to become more integrated in the East Asian regionalization process while deviating from the shared interests with the US. Dent briefly touches upon this matter but does not elaborate enough. The US factor will become increasingly more important and critical to the development of East Asian regionalism than China–Japan relations because the US will be “forced to observe China’s growing centrality,” as Dent rightly puts it. Kyung Hee University, Yongin, South Korea Jaewoo Choo GENDER AND GLOBALIZATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: Method, Practice, Theory. Edited by Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008. xii, 420 pp. (Illus.) US$35.00, paper. ISBN 978-0-8248-3241-4. Globalization is a unifying as well as diversifying process. While it reaches every place and people, it affects them in different ways. A volume edited by Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco, Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific: Method, Practice, Theory, addresses this contradictory process of globalization and its divergent effects on gender in the Asia and Pacific (AP) region. Each of 16 case studies comprises a chapter that examines different topics related to gender and globalization, including history, media, labour and militarization, in various parts of the AP region. In the Pacific islands, centuries-old Western colonization, coupled with Pacific Affairs: Volume 83, No. 3 – September 2010  46 recent economic globalization, has profoundly transformed the region and its gender relations. Following the editors’ introduction, in chapter 2 Judith Raiskin elucidates the pain and agony of Samoan women caught in the middle of the rapid “modernization,” as described in Sia Figiel’s 1996 novel, Where We Once Belonged. Similarly, in chapter 3, using historical records, Virginia Metaxas examines American missionaries’ campaigns to “civilize Hawaiian” women and men in order to “rescue” the rapidly diminishing native population. In India and China, where globalization has integrated local cultural practice into a global one, the transition has never been smooth. In chapter 4, Jyoti Puri criticizes Western-centric “global gay” discourses by citing India’s diverse indigenous gay culture. In chapter 5, Min Dongchao describes the difficulties encountered by Chinese feminists in their efforts to translate the Western concept of “gender” into Chinese in the context of China’s socialist politics and ideology. Asia’s economy has globalized its mass media, constructing new images for each gender. In chapter 6, Christine R. Yano analyzes a Japanese TV program’s portrayal of a Hawaii-born, Japanese-American woman, Sakura, who adapts to fit the images of an “ethnically homogeneous” Japan. In chapter 7, Steve Derné reports that India’s globalized TV and cinema have reinforced male-dominant views regarding marriage and family among urban lower middle-class men. In chapter 8, Yau Ching discusses limits of the capitalistic mode of disciplinary practice in a Japanese correctional school in its attempt to “rehabilitate” young girls who have prostituted themselves to acquire consumer products. In the AP region, the globalized economy has expanded job opportunities for women workers. Their increased opportunities have, however, generated a new challenge to them. In chapter 9, Maria De La Luz Ibarra describes a female kin-centred strategy by Mexican immigrant women to meet job demands in California and Hawai’i. In chapter 10, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas analyzes deepening contradictions in the Philippines between the societal ideology that binds women to domestic duties and the economic reality that pushes them overseas for employment. In chapter 11, Vivian Price reports increasing unemployment and gender inequality in India’s construction industry in which large-scale mechanization has replaced poor low-caste women workers. In chapter 12, Nancy E. Riley explains why young rural migrant women employed in China’s economic zones perceive their workplace as a “paradise” despite the significant exploitation and inequality they face there. Increased border crossing in the AP region has increased trafficking in women. Despite a consensus to eliminate such crimes against women, anti- trafficking activists in Asia are not unified in their campaigns. In chapter 13, Lucinda Joy Peach discusses a sharp ideological divide between abolitionists and reformists regarding trafficking and the interpretation of the agency  47 Electronic Book Review: Asia General of those who are trafficked. In chapter 14, Nancie Caraway explains why governments and some non-governmental organizations may create more problems than solutions for anti-trafficking goals. Integration of the AP region into the globalized economy and politics has heightened the strategic importance of the region to national security among the Western powers. In chapter 15, four feminist scholars (Cynthia Enloe, Kathy Ferguson, Gwen Kirk, Monique Mironesco) examine the necessity of a gender lens through which to analyze increased militarization and its impact on local communities. In chapter 16, Gwyn Kirk focuses on severe environmental damage and disruption in local lives brought about by American military bases in the Philippines, Okinawa and South Korea. In chapter 17, Teresia K. Teaiwa discusses ironies of the idyllic images of the Pacific islands whereas in reality, disproportionate numbers of local women and men are represented in the American combat armed forces. Altogether, these 16 chapters reveal extraordinarily complex and dynamic effects of globalization on gender in the AP region. While analyzing them in various circumstances, authors of these chapters point to the importance of taking into account women’s agency in their efforts to counter such impacts of globalization as labour exploitation, gender inequality and environmental degradation. The case studies in this volume thus suggest that future research ought to expand theories and methods that promote women’s agency as a centre for their lives in the rapidly changing AP region. This book is highly recommended for scholars of gender studies, ethnic studies, anthropology, sociology, geography and political science. University of California, Berkeley, USA KeiKo YamanaKa


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