Downtown Ladies Informal Commercial Importers, a Haitian Anthropologist and Self-Making in Jamaica

ISBN-10: 0226841227
ISBN-13: 9780226841229
Edition: 2007
Authors: Gina A. Ulysse
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Description: The Caribbean “market woman” is ingrained in the popular imagination as the archetype of black womanhood in countries throughout the region. Challenging this stereotype and other outdated images of black women,Downtown Ladiesoffers a more complex  More...

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Book details

List price: $33.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 3/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 2.00" wide x 3.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.320
Language: English

The Caribbean “market woman” is ingrained in the popular imagination as the archetype of black womanhood in countries throughout the region. Challenging this stereotype and other outdated images of black women,Downtown Ladiesoffers a more complex picture by documenting the history of independent international traders—known as informal commercial importers, or ICIs—who travel abroad to import and export a vast array of consumer goods sold in the public markets of Kingston, Jamaica. Both by-products of and participants in globalization, ICIs operate on multiple levels and, since their emergence in the 1970s, have made significant contributions to the regional, national, and global economies. Gina Ulysse carefully explores how ICIs, determined to be self-employed, struggle with government regulation and other social tensions to negotiate their autonomy. Informing this story of self-fashioning with reflections on her own experience as a young Haitian anthropologist, Ulysse combines the study of political economy with the study of individual and collective identity to reveal the uneven consequences of disrupting traditional class, color, and gender codes in individual societies and around the world.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction. Toward a Reflexive Political Economy within a Political Economy of Reflexivity
Of Ladies and Women: Historicizing Gendered Class and Color Codes
From Higglering to Informal Commercial Importing
Caribbean Alter(ed) natives: An Auto-Ethnographic Quilt
Uptown Women/Downtown Ladies: Differences among ICIs
Inside and Outside of the Arcade: My Downtown Dailies and Miss B.'s Tuffness
Shopping in Miami: Globalization, Saturated Markets, and the Reflexive Political Economy of ICIs
Style, Imported Blackness, and My Jelly Platform Shoes
Brawta. Written on Black Bodies: ICIs' Futures
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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