Migrant sex workers are commonly cast as victims, moved by desperation to flee poverty and hopelessness in their home country. The Brazilian erotic dancers Suzana Maia presents in Transnational Desires, however, are women from the Brazilian middle class--some of them well-educated professionals--who migrated to the United States not just to better themselves economically but also to realize their personal dreams. Their motivation to migrate and to work as erotic dancers can also be understood in the context of a representational system, inaugurated in colonial times, that emphasizes the exoticism of Brazilian women--their bodies, their skin tone, their sexuality. These stereotypes are the props that Brazilian women use to construct their performances in Manhattan and Queens gentlemen's bars and the language through which they negotiate their relationships to society at large. Transnational Desires focuses on the lives of nine Brazilian dancers with whom the author, herself a middle-class Brazilian, developed close relationships over the years. Maia examines their social relations both in the bar scene and with family, friends, and lovers outside. She shows that for these women erotic dancing is part of a life trajectory that involves negotiating their social position and life prospects in a fundamentally transnational social universe.ready drunk, she asked me: aIs it true that a woman can make a lot of money dancing in bars in New York? ... Before the expiration of her six-month U.S. visa, she met and married a young white American, Jimmy, through whom she got a green card and became a legal U.S. resident. ... Ivana It was a cold winter day when I met Ivana in her basement apartment in Astoria for coffee, after being introduced toanbsp;...
|Publisher||:||Vanderbilt University Press - 2012|