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REVIEW: Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy.


Despite its initial appearance and the rather dull-sounding title, 'Global Woman' is a fascinating read. On a first glimpse the potential reader could be forgiven for thinking that this is one of those tiresome, whinge-filled books harping on about equality in long, tedious, academic tones. The reality is quite the opposite.

Written in a fairly measured way, the individual articles within this book manage to combine the necessary attributes of interest, readability, thought provocation and incisiveness into a great little 328-page paperback.

Dealing with the role of women in the new economy, albeit in the often 'underclass' roles of nannies, maids and sex workers, the authors manage to successfully show that 'first world' women are often freed from their one-time home restriction to enter the world of work at the cost of women in the third world or less developed world.

I had not given much thought, admittedly, as to the family life of the Malaysian or Thai nanny who might be looking after the children of a US high flyer. Of course, they had moved home and perhaps gone half way around the world to work for fairly poor wages and not get the best possible treatment. But would you have automatically thought that they might have children of their own, perhaps left with a local nanny or extended family, whilst the mother goes to look after someone else's children?

Of course there are also the fairly well documented stories about sex workers. Undoubtedly many women have elected to sell sex to sustain themselves, but equally many are forced to do so, whether by the barrel of a gun, the fist of a pimp or the constant pressure of a bank or credit card institution.

CONCLUSION: A highly recommended, interesting read; consider it even if you would normally shy away from this kind of book for fear of falling asleep by page two.

Title: Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New EconomyAuthor: Barbara Ehrenreich (Editor), Arlie Russell Hochschild (Editor)Published by: Granta BooksISBN: 1-86207-588-3Price: GBP8.99Reviewer: Darren Ingram
COPYRIGHT 2003 Normans Media Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Ingram, Darren
Publication:M2 Best Books
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 22, 2003
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