Fabricating Transnational Capitalism

A Collaborative Ethnography of Italian-Chinese Global Fashion

Fabricating Transnational Capitalism

The Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures

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Book Pages: 392 Illustrations: 4 illustrations Published: January 2019

Subjects
Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Art and Visual Culture > Fashion, Asian Studies > East Asia

In this innovative collaborative ethnography of Italian-Chinese ventures in the fashion industry, Lisa Rofel and Sylvia J. Yanagisako offer a new methodology for studying transnational capitalism. Drawing on their respective linguistic and regional areas of expertise, Rofel and Yanagisako show how different historical legacies of capital, labor, nation, and kinship are crucial in the formation of global capitalism. Focusing on how Italian fashion is manufactured, distributed, and marketed by Italian-Chinese ventures and how their relationships have been complicated by China's emergence as a market for luxury goods, the authors illuminate the often-overlooked processes that produce transnational capitalism—including privatization, negotiation of labor value, rearrangement of accumulation, reconfiguration of kinship, and outsourcing of inequality. In so doing, Fabricating Transnational Capitalism reveals the crucial role of the state and the shifting power relations between nations in shaping the ideas and practices of the Italian and Chinese partners.

Praise

"Grounded in an innovative, collaborative multi-sited ethnography, this book makes a major contribution to existing literature by capturing the nature and power dynamics of transnational capitalism. . . . [Fabricating Transnational Capitalism] will be welcomed by a wide array of scholars interested in transnational capitalism, labor, kinship, fashion, China, Italy, and beyond." — Tiantian Zheng, H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews

"This dense and fascinating book proves the relevance of the ethnographic method to analyses of the changing dynamics of transnational capitalism in recent decades." — Véronique Pouillard, Business History Review

“Across the reach of global capitalism, Italian managers and Chinese entrepreneurs cast sticky webs of desire toward each other. And yet, as they negotiate the value of their respective labors, a quite different history of assessment and translation is brought into play for each. Fabricating Transnational Capitalism unpacks what global capital means on the ground. There are surprises: investment is kinship; private is state-run. For the ethnographic study of political economy, the book will become a classic.” — Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, author of The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

“Lisa Rofel and Sylvia J. Yanagisako's innovative collaboration offers significant insights into the dynamics of global capitalism in the contemporary moment. Nuanced, fluidly argued, and written with considerable verve, Fabricating Transnational Capitalism is not just a brilliant work by two scholars at the cutting-edge of their fields; it envisions and models what collaborative ethnography can become and might achieve.” — Karen Ho, author of Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Lisa Rofel is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of Desiring China: Experiments in Neoliberalism, Sexuality, and Public Culture, also published by Duke University Press.

Sylvia J. Yanagisako is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies and Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University and author of Producing Culture and Capital: Family Firms in Italy.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Robert J. Foster  vii
Acknowledgments  xi
Introduction  1
I. The Negotiation of Value  35
1. Negotiating Managerial Labor Power and Value / Lisa Rofel and Sylvia J. Yanagisako  43
II. Historical Legacies and Revisionist Histories  109
2. The (Re-)Emergence of Entrepreneurialism in Postsocialist China / Lisa Rofel  119
3. Italian Legacies of Capital and Labor / Sylvia Yanagisako  161
4. One Fashion, Two Nations: Italian-Chinese Collaborations / Simona Segre Reinach  190
III. Kinship and Transnational Capitalism  217
5. On Generation / Sylvia Yanagisako  227
6. The Reappearance and Elusiveness of Chinese Family Firms / Lisa Rofel  264
Conclusion  303
Appendix: Four Types of Collaboration between Chinese and Italian Firms  313
Notes  319
References  345
Index  363
 
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0045-7 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0029-7
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