This ethnographic study examines the transnational relations among feminist movements at the end of the twentieth century, exploring two differently situated women's organizations in the Northeast Brazilian state of Pernambuco.
The conventional narrative of globalization tells the story of inexorable forces beyond the capacity of individuals to mute or transcend. But this study tells a different story, one of social actors purposefully weaving cross-border relationships. From this vantage point, global social forces are not immaculately conceived. Instead, they are constituted by human actors with their own interests and identities, located in particular social contexts.
Making Transnational Feminism takes what some have called "global civil society" as its object, moving beyond both dire predictions and euphoric celebrations to understand how transnational political relationships are constructed and sustained across social and geographical divides. It also provides a compelling case study for use in advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in globalization, gender studies, and social movements.
Millie Thayer (2004 Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts where she teaches graduate classes in field research methods, social movements, and undergraduate classes in race, class, gender, and ethnicity. Her research work is in cross-border feminist relationships, Latin American women's movements, and the social movement/international funding agency nexus. Her articles have appeared in the Journals Ethnography and Social Problems and in books published by University of California Press and Cornell University Press.
1. Introduction: Re-Reading Globalization from Northeast Brazil 2. Traveling Feminisms: From Embodied Women to Gendered Citizenship 3. The Leverage of the Local: Political Negotiations in a Global Sphere 4. Feminists and Funding: Plays of Power in a Social Movement Market 5. Conclusion: Defending the Endangered Public. Methodological Appendix: Transnational Feminism as Field - Power, Solidarity and the Researcher