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- DescriptionGlobalization and ecomic restructuring have decimated formal jobs in developing countries, pushing many women into informal employment such as direct selling of cosmetics, perfume, and other personal care products as a way to make up the difference between household income and expenses. In Ecuador, with its persistent ecomic crisis and few opportunities for financially and personally rewarding work, women increasingly choose direct selling as a way to earn income by activating their social networks. While few women earn the cars and trips that are iconic prizes in the direct selling organization, many use direct selling as part of a set of household survival strategies. In this first in-depth study of a cosmetics direct selling organization in Latin America, Erynn Masi de Casava explores women's identities as workers, including their juggling of paid work and domestic responsibilities, their ideas about professional appearance, and their strategies for collecting money from customers. Focusing on women who work for the country's leading direct selling organization, she offers fascinating portraits of the everyday lives of women selling personal care products in Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil. Addressing gender relations (including a look at men's direct and indirect involvement), the importance of image, and the social and ecomic context of direct selling, Casava challenges assumptions that this kind of flexible employment resolves women's work/home conflicts and offers an important new perspective on women's work in developing countries.
- Author BiographyERYNN MASI DE CASANOVA is Assistant Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Affiliate of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Cincinnati. She has been conducting research in Ecuador for a decade, and her work has been published in journals such as Gender & Society, Women's Studies Quarterly, and Latino Studies.
- Author(s)Erynn Masi de Casanova
- PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
- Date of Publication01/05/2012
- SubjectSocial Studies: General
- Series TitleLouann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series
- Place of PublicationAustin, TX
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Texas Press
- Content Note10 b&w photos, 1 line drawing
- Weight390 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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