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When Women Come First: Gender and Class in Transnational Migration

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With a subtle yet penetrating understanding of the intricate interplay of gender, race, and class, Sheba George examines an unusual immigration pattern to analyze what happens when women who migrate before men become the breadwinners in the family. Focusing on a group of female nurses who moved from India to the United States before their husbands, she shows that this stor With a subtle yet penetrating understanding of the intricate interplay of gender, race, and class, Sheba George examines an unusual immigration pattern to analyze what happens when women who migrate before men become the breadwinners in the family. Focusing on a group of female nurses who moved from India to the United States before their husbands, she shows that this story of economic mobility and professional achievement conceals underlying conditions of upheaval not only in the families and immigrant community but also in the sending community in India. This richly textured and impeccably researched study deftly illustrates the complex reconfigurations of gender and class relations concealed behind a quintessential American success story. When Women Come First explains how men who lost social status in the immigration process attempted to reclaim ground by creating new roles for themselves in their church. Ironically, they were stigmatized by other upper class immigrants as men who needed to "play in the church" because the "nurses were the bosses" in their homes. At the same time, the nurses were stigmatized as lower class, sexually loose women with too much independence. George's absorbing story of how these women and men negotiate this complicated network provides a groundbreaking perspective on the shifting interactions of two nations and two cultures.


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With a subtle yet penetrating understanding of the intricate interplay of gender, race, and class, Sheba George examines an unusual immigration pattern to analyze what happens when women who migrate before men become the breadwinners in the family. Focusing on a group of female nurses who moved from India to the United States before their husbands, she shows that this stor With a subtle yet penetrating understanding of the intricate interplay of gender, race, and class, Sheba George examines an unusual immigration pattern to analyze what happens when women who migrate before men become the breadwinners in the family. Focusing on a group of female nurses who moved from India to the United States before their husbands, she shows that this story of economic mobility and professional achievement conceals underlying conditions of upheaval not only in the families and immigrant community but also in the sending community in India. This richly textured and impeccably researched study deftly illustrates the complex reconfigurations of gender and class relations concealed behind a quintessential American success story. When Women Come First explains how men who lost social status in the immigration process attempted to reclaim ground by creating new roles for themselves in their church. Ironically, they were stigmatized by other upper class immigrants as men who needed to "play in the church" because the "nurses were the bosses" in their homes. At the same time, the nurses were stigmatized as lower class, sexually loose women with too much independence. George's absorbing story of how these women and men negotiate this complicated network provides a groundbreaking perspective on the shifting interactions of two nations and two cultures.

34 review for When Women Come First: Gender and Class in Transnational Migration

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jyothis James

    A must read for any Syrian Christian in the diaspora

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    One of the best books that examines shifting tropes of masculinity and femininity in the Keralite immigrant community. A must-read for those who are skeptical of totalizing theories of patriarchy and labor migration that fail to investigate the changing relations of women and men as a result of migration, and the ways in which immigrant male and female identities are structured by class and other social hierarchies.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zeynep Aydogdu

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brent Thomas

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lata

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karissa Haugeberg

  7. 5 out of 5

    Grace

  8. 4 out of 5

    S.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nuno

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zainah Al Essa

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anne Lutomia

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Thibodeau

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alecksana Mallory

  17. 5 out of 5

    Muge Igarashi

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pear

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joel ?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wenny

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hanna

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelli Kline

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Navjeet

  26. 5 out of 5

    Woochang

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mony Crișan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Haley

  29. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  30. 5 out of 5

    Taylor E. Watson

  31. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Philips

  32. 4 out of 5

    synequeen

  33. 5 out of 5

    Gloria

  34. 5 out of 5

    Nieve

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