1 domesticating the global

Throughout this book, I use the term ‘‘expatriate’’ to refer to this group. This
word is used in two different ways. Generally, it means those who reside outside of
their native country. More specifically, it also means those who were forced to
leave their country or to denounce their allegiance to their native country (Web-
ster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary). My use of the term in this book follows
the more general usage without the connotation of exile or the political positions.

By contrast, many women in industrialized societies have worked outside the
home for wages, despite the hegemonic views of family and division of labor that
were mainly applicable to women of the middle and upper classes. However, the
naturalized conception of women’s domestic tendencies often carries over into the
domain of paid labor, too. Women are relegated to secondary roles at the work-
place and limited to the duties of assisting, preparing for, and cleaning up after
male workers. These tendencies are quite salient in male-dominant Japanese
workplaces, where women often take the positions of unskilled support workers
and part-timers (Brinton 1993; Kelsky 2001). Although directly contributing to
the capitalist production of exchange value, these ‘‘feminine’’ kinds of labor are
considered secondary to male labor and do not readily connect to social power
(Thorne 1982, 4). With the recent advent of flexible capitalism, the hierarchy of
industrial labor has become increasingly transnationalized and feminized. That is,
the manufacturing process often takes place across national borders to utilize
inexpensive and docile labor outside the core industrial nations, such as the
United States. In these global assembly lines, local women are the favored choice
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