Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and “Mail Order” Marriages

Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and “Mail Order” Marriages

Genelle Gaudinez of the University of Southern California reviews Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and “Mail Order” Marriages by Nicole Constable.  Nicole Constable explains that by the year 2000 more than 350 Internet agencies were plying the email-order marriage trade, and the business of matching up mostly Western men with women from Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America had become an example of globalization writ large. This provocative work opens a window onto the complex motivations and experiences of the people behind the stereotypes and misconceptions that have exploded along with the practice of transnational courtship and marriage. Combining extensive Internet ethnography and face-to-face fieldwork, Romance on a Global Stage looks at the intimate realities of Filipinas, Chinese women, and U.S. men corresponding in hopes of finding a suitable marriage partner.  Through the experiences of those engaged in pen pal relationships—their stories of love, romance, migration, and long-distance dating—this book conveys the richness and dignity of women’s and men’s choices without reducing these correspondents to calculating opportunists or naive romantics. Attentive to the structural, cultural, and personal factors that prompt women and men to seek marriage partners abroad, Romance on a Global Stage questions the dichotomies so frequently drawn between structure and agency, and between global and local levels of analysis.

Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00249.xc.

Publication Part Of International Migration Review
Author Names

Book by Nicole Constable, University of Pittsburgh
Reviewed by Genelle Gaudinez, University of Southern California

Journal International Migration Review
Date of Publication Winter 2004
Pages 1565-1566
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2004.tb00249.xc
Volume 38
Issue Number 4

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