Sri Lanka’s Global Factory Workers

(Un) Disciplined Desires and Sexual Struggles in a Post-Colonial Society

By Sandya Hewamanne

© 2016 – Routledge

176 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415819862
pub: 2016-07-06
Available for pre-order
US Dollars$160.00
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About the Book

In Sri Lanka, the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) employs thousands of unmarried rural women, and their migration has aroused deep anxieties over female morality and ideal conduct. This book focuses on the global factory workers based in the FTZ, and analyses social class and intersections of gender, class and sexuality by looking at the sexual lives and struggles of the female workers.

Examining the role of the factory worker community, their experiences and sexual identities, the author demonstrates the workers’ agency in their lives and work. The book also highlights the women workers’ own understanding of the good, talented woman who enjoys available social and sexual opportunities without getting in trouble; faithfully takes care of her responsibilities to her natal family in the village; and safeguards its good name by marrying her boyfriend or someone chosen by her parents. This alternative ideal and long-term empowerment are significantly circumscribed by the temporary character of their job – which requires them to return to their villages after a few years – and by the mainstream understanding of women’s good reputation and the expectation of virginity at marriage.

An important contribution to the field of gender studies, the book addresses issues surrounding sexuality, particularly how it is shaped by global production networks as well as patriarchal nationalist projects. It is of interest to students and scholars of South Asian Studies and Gender Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Global Factory Workers and Forbidden Zones

2."Secret" Lives of Good Girls: On Romances, Sexualities and Unuttered Desires

3. Romance on the Street: Sexual Banter and Sexual Harassment

4. "Would Good Girls Read Such Filth?" Reading and Writing Sex among Global Factory Workers

5. In the Service of the Nation: Sex, Marriage and Social Mobility in Times of War

6. Guardians of Girls: Policing and Saving Workers in Crises of Love and Sex

7. Man-power Workers, Contract Workers, and Tamil Workers: Sexual Empowerment, from Here to Where?

About the Author

Sandya Hewamanne is Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex, UK. Her research interests include globalization, identity, cultural politics and feminist and post colonial theory.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC002010
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General