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The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Service Work

by
ISBN13:

9780520262607

ISBN10:
0520262603
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
6/2/2010
Publisher(s):
Univ of California Pr
List Price: $31.95

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Summary

Two women, virtual strangers, sit hand-in-hand across a narrow table, both intent on the same thing-achieving the perfect manicure. Encounters like this occur thousands of times across the United States in nail salons overwhelmingly owned and operated by Asian immigrants. This study looks closely for the first time at these intimate encounters, focusing on New York City, where such nail salons have become ubiquitous. Drawing from rich and compelling interviews, Miliann Kang takes us inside the nail industry, asking such questions as: Why have nail salons become so popular? Why do so many Asian women, and Korean women in particular, provide these services? Kang discovers multiple motivations for the manicure-from the pampering of white middle class women to the artistic self-expression of working class African American women to the mass consumption of body-related services. Contrary to notions of beauty service establishments as spaces for building community among women,The Managed Handfinds that while tentative and fragile solidarities can emerge across the manicure table, they generally give way to even more powerful divisions of race, class, and immigration.

Author Biography

Miliann Kang is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and affiliated faculty in Sociology and Asian/Asian American Studies.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Manicuring Workp. 1
"There's No Business Like the Nail Business"p. 32
"What Other Work Is There?": Manicuristsp. 57
Hooked on Nails: Customersp. 96
"I Just Put Koreans and Nails Together": Nail Spas and the Model Minorityp. 133
Black People "Have Not Been the Ones Who Get Pampered": Nail Art Salons and Black-Korean Relationsp. 165
"You Could Get a Fungus": Asian Discount Nail Salons as the New Yellow Perilp. 201
Conclusion: What Is a Manicure Worth?p. 239
Notesp. 255
Referencesp. 275
Indexp. 301
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


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