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

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University of California Press, Jun 2, 2010 - Business & Economics - 309 pages
"This book is a must read for women's studies and sociology classes on labor, migration and gender as it provides its readers a rich and theoretically engaging discussion on feminine culture, the intersections of race, class, gender and migrant women's labor."—Rhacel Salazar Parreņas, Brown University

"In The Managed Hand, Miliann Kang makes a significant contribution to the existing literature on Asian-American women, gender relations, service workers, beauty and the body. Based on fieldwork in nail salons, Kang reveals the social and emotional negotiations between and amongst women in that setting. We will never look at fingernails and what they tell us about ourselves in the same way again!"—Rebecca King-O'Riain, author of Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants

"I enjoyed reading Kang's work so much that I felt disappointed when I finished. The book is a wonderful example of what sociology does best—i.e., skillfully examining a relatively small site of interest, such that the analysis speaks not only to matters of individual experience and identity, but also to those of broader social and cultural processes and structures."—Debra L. Gimlin, author of Body Work: Beauty and Self-Image in American Culture

"How did manicured nails become such ubiquitous symbols of feminine status? In this innovative and compelling ethnography, Kang unravels the many social consequences of the polished nail, bringing together insights from care work, ethnic enclave entrepreneurship, and gender and migration scholarship to illuminate the growing sector of body labor. All those who would dismiss manicured nails as socially irrelevant should read this book!"—Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, author of Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence


Theres No Business Like the Nail Business
Black People Have Not Been the Ones
Asian Discount Nail

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About the author (2010)

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.