- Taschenbuch: 244 Seiten
- Verlag: University of California Press; Auflage: Updated (8. Januar 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0520229126
- ISBN-13: 978-0520229129
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 1,9 x 21,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
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Banabas Beaches & Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. Januar 2001
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"Bananas, Beaches and Bases is the most significant book in contemporary feminist international politics. In my view, it is the essential text not only for feminist international politics courses but for anyone interested in starting to understand just how International Politics really works." - Marysia Zalewski, author of Feminism After Postmodernism: Theorising Through Practice "A new edition of Bananas, Beaches and Bases is cause for cosmic good cheer. This trailblazing treatment of the gender politics of global market and military projects is a feminist classic. Always ahead of the curve, before globalization had achieved cache in academic circles, Enloe was there, cajoling Western feminists out of our political parochialism. There is no more creative, insightful, engaging feminist guide to international politics." - Judith Stacey, author of Brave New Families "Bananas, Beaches and Bases is both a 'Pandora's box' and a roadmap. As the 'magna carta' of Feminist International Relations, it has helped create a new generation of women and men in the world of international relations." - Katharine Moon,author of Sex Among Allies "With this volume, Cynthia Enloe single-handedly carved out a major new field. Combining contemporary political insight and historical sensitivity, Bananas, Beaches and Bases revealed the gendered workings of high politics, without which the entire machinery of war, diplomacy and governance would have long since collapsed. A pioneering tour-de-force." - Philippa Levine,author of Victorian Feminism, 1850-1900"
This radical analysis of globalization reveals the crucial role of women in international politics today. Cynthia Enloe pulls back the curtain on the familiar scenes - governments promoting tourism, companies moving their factories overseas, soldiers serving on foreign soil - and shows that the real landscape is not exclusively male. She describes how many women's seemingly personal strategies - in their marriages, in their housework, in their coping with ideals of beauty - are, in reality, the stuff of global politics. In exposing policymakers' reliance on false notions of "femininity" and "masculinity," Enloe dismantles an apparently overwhelming world system, revealing it to be much more fragile and open to change than we think.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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This work is enlightening because it examines the quiet yet immensely influential role women play within the geopolitical economic system. Enloe's main thesis is that the personal is political, therefore the power plays within international politics correlates strongly with the power struggles within the personal relationships between men and women. Unfortunately where Enloe falls short is her narrow definition of masculinity and femininity. Ultimately she defines them as pillars of power, rather than the embodiment of choices. The truth is when it comes to these kind of dichotomized debates, the answers are usually a bit more nuanced.
First, what isn't clear is Enloe's use of the term `political' in which she also uses interchangeably to mean `economical'. The problem is if you don't clearly distinguish between the two it becomes difficult to identify who is a genuine victim of the vicissitudes of international political fiat, versus those who are freely making choices deciding between trade offs in an environment limited by scarcity. Enloe commits this fallacy because she views today's market system as a form of neo-mercantilism. In some cases she may be right but nevertheless it's still important to make the distinction because if the personal is political and the political is economical, why should the political/economical be of concern to anyone if the source of it all is personal, and people are completely happy with their personal choices? For Enloe, it seems to makes a difference if one believes that the personal sphere is a construct forged out of coercive power, rather than of choice. For Enloe, to command power over international politics also means commanding power within the personal sphere. If true, than universal happiness could not be possible because, in her worldview when it comes to power, there is always a winner and a loser.
The problem is power is subjective, arbitrary and always destined for conflict. If 'masculinity' and 'femininity' are simply power constructs then ones power is as good as the other. Since masculine and feminine interests are distinct power interests, this means they must be in perpetual conflict with each other since a simbiotic peace, that transceneds power that is founded on shared moral ideals, is not possible. Power constructs are not concerned with questions of ethics, rights, justice, truth, obligations and expressions of individual free will. Power constructs are solely concerned with aquiring more power.
Secondly, Enloe discusses how first and third world women are `used by the makers of the international political system', who are primarily men. Unfortunately, Enloe limits her definition of masculine power solely within the context of European nationalism. Afterall, what about third world men who are `used by the makers of the international political system'? Enloe doesn't have an answer. Doing so would require Enloe to reject or significantly alter her central thesis that the source of international politics lies primarily within the personal power struggles between men and women. Enloe's theory is incomplete because it stems from her Marxist reasoning which is rooted in a conflict-based world-view.
Despite these criticisms this is a very good book and it's highly recommended for anyone interested in learning about the `quiet' power women have in influencing international affairs.
Each of the chapters in Enloe's book explores a different theme -- from tourism to US military bases -- in order to demonstrate how the personal is political and the political is personal. Enloe most successfully draws out the linkages between domestic life and public authority in her chapters on nationalism, banana republics and garment factories. Looking at the experiences of women in places as diverse as Sri Lanka and Palestine, Enloe finds women asserting a sense of national identity that conflicts with their feminine roles of tending home and children. Even more problematic, if increased militarization creates an emphasis on communal unity, issues of sexual inequality are often discounted; thus, the nation is redefined, but in a masculinized form. Enloe's most global chapter nicely couples women in the United States with women in Honduras, both of whom the United Fruit Company controls to a certain degree by promoting and relying on women's feminized roles. In the United States, housewives respond to advertising and turn bananas into a booming business, while in Honduras, mothers and daughters accept low paid work on banana plantations or in nearby brothels. In a later chapter, Enloe turns to the international garment industry, noting again how industry keeps women's work cheap by drawing on patriarchal ideas about labor. At the same time, concepts like risk and adventure underlie international financial decisions and masculinize global banking, the money driving the garment industry.
In arguing that international processes depend on particular configurations of masculinity and femininity, Enloe has produced an important work. However, this book is so wide ranging that it often forgoes providing a complex analysis of its topics; Enloe makes sweeping and often simplistic generalizations, such as "international tourism needs patriarchy to survive (p.41)." Yet Enloe depicts a tourism industry that responds to changing cultural and social norms; for example, the tourist industry incorporates the idea, launched by women, of the white female adventurer. Enloe wants to demonstrate the importance of gender in tourism; however, this reader was more struck by the way her book illustrates tourism's dependency on racism for its survival. In addition, many of Enloe's linkages, especially between female sexuality and the control of predominantly male populations, while intuitively comprehensible, are poorly supported by evidence. The presence of high levels of prostitution around US military bases, for example in the Philippines, seems at least equally tied to issues of international economics as it is to providing security for military bases. Why, I wonder, is there a collapse (in the host country) of previously defining notions about male / female domestic and sexual relations? Why are the patriarchal values that keep women at home or considering the needs of their compañeros in Afghanistan and Mexico suddenly demolished in the Philippines? Attention to the pressure that international economics places on the gendering of domestic relations in countries that maintain US military bases would have nuanced Enloe's argument.
Despite these flaws, Enloe should be commended for broadening our understanding of global politics. Indeed, Enloe challenges our conceptions of international politics while empowering female readers to think about how global issues might relate to their own experiences. The author's portrayal of the September 19th Garment Workers Union in Mexico highlights how women can recognize their dehumanized role in the global economic system; moreover, in examining the lives of working women across the globe, she calls on middle class feminists to hear and support a diversity of female needs. This book provides a welcome addition to current scholarship on the global market and will benefit anyone interested in considering the complex forms that power can take in international politics.