Qualitative Sociology

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 337–351 | Cite as

Reorienting Gender and Globalization: Introduction to the Special Issue

  • Manisha Desai
  • Rachel Rinaldo


The scholarship on gender and globalization has contributed a far more complex picture of the impact of global processes as well as added a crucial gendered perspective on such processes. It has shown us how global processes may reinscribe, alter, and challenge sex/gender orders, which are not necessarily coherent or hegemonic. Yet, we think there is more that gender and globalization scholarship can do to enhance understandings of global processes. We argue that to do so, the literature needs to develop further by overcoming several limitations: (1) an understanding of gender that still tends to reflect the binary sex/gender arrangements common to Western societies, while failing to address the influence of colonial histories and postcolonial states (Roberts and Connell, Feminist Theory 17(2): 135–140, 2016; Sinha 2012); (2) a gender asymmetry, i.e., a disproportionate focus on women; (3) a narrow set of issues that come under its analytical lens; (4) a primary focus outside the US; and finally (5) a gender division of intellectual labor in which primarily feminists who identify as women study gender and globalization while those who identify as men, feminist or otherwise, tend to study a gender blind globalization. In this introduction, we examine the development of the gender and globalization literature, discuss how the articles in this special issue expand on it, and conclude with future directions for this burgeoning field.


Gender Globalization Transnational Translocal Women Sexuality Masculinity Global South 



We are grateful to Rae Blumberg, Hae Yeon Choo, Ashley Currier, and Valentine Moghadam for their participation in the symposium that inspired this special issue. This introduction has also benefited greatly from comments and suggestions from Christine Bose, Janet Conway, Myra Marx Ferree, and Afshan Jafar as well as two anonymous members of the Qualitative Sociology editorial board. Koyel Khan provided valuable help with the preparation of this introduction. We especially want to thank David Smilde for his support and advice and Rebecca Hanson for her extensive assistance with this special issue. Finally, thanks also to all those who reviewed manuscripts and to Leslie Salzinger for writing the Afterword.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of ConnecticutHartfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA

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