Cultures of Transnational Adoption

Duke University Press
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During the 1990s, the number of children adopted from poorer countries to the more affluent West grew exponentially. Close to 140,000 transnational adoptions occurred in the United States alone. While in an earlier era, adoption across borders was assumed to be straightforward—a child traveled to a new country and stayed there—by the late twentieth century, adoptees were expected to acquaint themselves with the countries of their birth and explore their multiple identities. Listservs, Web sites, and organizations creating international communities of adoptive parents and adoptees proliferated. With contributors including several adoptive parents, this unique collection looks at how transnational adoption creates and transforms cultures.

The cultural experiences considered in this volume raise important questions about race and nation; about kinship, biology, and belonging; and about the politics of the sending and receiving nations. Several essayists explore the images and narratives related to transnational adoption. Others examine the recent preoccupation with “roots” and “birth cultures.” They describe a trip during which a group of Chilean adoptees and their Swedish parents traveled “home” to Chile, the “culture camps” attended by thousands of young-adult Korean adoptees whom South Korea is now eager to reclaim as “overseas Koreans,” and adopted children from China and their North American parents grappling with the question of what “Chinese” or “Chinese American” identity might mean. Essays on Korean birth mothers, Chinese parents who adopt children within China, and the circulation of children in Brazilian families reveal the complexities surrounding adoption within the so-called sending countries. Together, the contributors trace the new geographies of kinship and belonging created by transnational adoption.

Contributors. Lisa Cartwright, Claudia Fonseca, Elizabeth Alice Honig, Kay Johnson, Laurel Kendall, Eleana Kim, Toby Alice Volkman, Barbara Yngvesson

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About the author

Toby Alice Volkman is Deputy Provost at New School University. She is the author of Feasts of Honor: Ritual and Change in the Toraja Highlands.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Jun 10, 2005
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Pages
243
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ISBN
9780822386926
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Adoption & Fostering
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Women increasingly make up a significant percentage of the labor force throughout the world. This transformation is impacting everyone's lives. This book examines the resulting gender role, work, and family issues from a comparative worldwide perspective. Working allows women to earn an income, acquire new skills, and forge social connections. It also brings challenges such as simultaneously managing domestic responsibilities and family relationships. The social, political, and economic implications of this global transformation are explored from an interdisciplinary perspective in this book. The commonalities and the differences of women’s experiences depending on their social class, education, and location in industrialized and developing countries are highlighted throughout. Practical implications are examined including the consequences of these changes for men. Engaging vignettes and case studies from around the world bring the topics to life. The book argues that despite policy reforms and a rhetoric of equality, women still have unique experiences from men both at work and at home.

Women, Work, and Globalization explores:

Key issues surrounding work and families from a global cross-cultural perspective. The positive and negative experiences of more women in the global workforce. The spread of women’s empowerment on changes in ideologies and behaviors throughout the world. Key literature from family studies, IO, sociology, anthropology, and economics. The changing role of men in the global work-family arena. The impact of sexual trafficking and exploitation, care labor, and transnational migration on women. Best practices and policies that have benefited women, men, and their families.

Part 1 reviews the research on gender in the industrialized and developing world, global changes that pertain to women’s gender roles, women’s labor market participation, globalization, and the spread of the women’s movement. Issues that pertain to women in a globalized world including gender socialization, sexual trafficking and exploitation, labor migration and transnational motherhood, and the complexities entailed in care labor are explored in Part 2. Programs and policies that have effectively assisted women are explored in Part 3 including initiatives instituted by NGOs and governments in developing countries and (programs) policies that help women balance work and family in industrialized countries. The book concludes with suggestions for global initiatives that assist women in balancing work and family responsibilities while decreasing their vulnerabilities.

Intended as a supplemental text for advanced undergraduate and/or graduate courses in Women/Gender Issues, Work and Family, Gender and Families, Global/International Families, Family Diversity, Multicultural Families, and Urban Sociology taught in psychology, human development and family studies, gender and/or women’s studies, business, sociology, social work, political science, and anthropology. Researchers, policy makers, and practitioners in these fields will also appreciate this thought provoking book.

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