Performing Gendered and Ethnic Sociability: Spatial Practices of Chinese Women Bartenders in an Italian City
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AbstractBased on an ethnographic study of Chinese-owned coffee bars in Bologna, a northern city of Italy, this paper seeks to explore how Chinese wives practice emotional work in one of the most important social spaces for Italian urban life. In it I examine how Chinese migrant women contribute to their family economy through spatialized practices and further addresses how such contributions in turn shapes family gender relations. Even though many of these Chinese women arrived in Italy as passive migrants for family unification, most of them have played an essential role in the process of upward economic mobility of their family. They have actively joined the workplace together with their husbands, contributed their own aspirations and emotional work, and involved themselves in the business aspects of family self-employment. The traditional gendered family politics and especially the public/domestic dichotomy does not seem to fit the gendered division of labor of Chinese migrant families in Italy. When the family business requires frequent interactions with the Italian society, a stereotypical “oriental femininity” is actually widely appreciated. With the focus on the practice of gendered and ethnic sociability of Chinese female bartenders in the Italian coffee bars, this paper will illustrate the subjectivity of Chinese female petty entrepreneurs for negotiating and manipulating gender roles in a family-managed public space, in which the boundary between public and domestic realms is rather blurred.
All Author(s) ListTING DENG
Start Date of Conference24/06/2016
End Date of Conference27/06/2016
Place of ConferenceKYOTO
Country/Region of ConferenceJapan
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-09-10 at 16:43