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Love and Globalization
Transformations of Intimacy in the Contemporary World

Editor(s): Mark B. Padilla, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Miguel Munoz-Laboy, Robert Sember, Richard G. Parker

Discussions of globalization usually focus on political, economic, and technological transformations, but fail to recognize how we experience these processes in our daily lives, including our most intimate acts and practices. In this volume, anthropologists and sociologists draw on long-term ethnographic research on love, gender, and sexuality in a broad range of regions to discuss how global forces shape marriage, commercial sex, the political economy of intimacy, and lesbian and gay expressions of companionship.

The richly-textured ethnographies provoke a series of questions about emerging vocabularies for friendship and romance; the adoption of cultural forms from faraway places; the emergence of new desires, pleasures, and emotions that circulate as commodities in the global marketplace; and the ways economic processes shape public and private expressions of sexual intimacy.

Biography of Editor(s)

Mark B. Padilla is in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan
Jennifer S. Hirsch, Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, is the author of A Courtship after Marriage: Sexuality and Love in Mexican Transnational Families and co-editor of two recent volumes on the comparative anthropology of love.
Holly Wardlow, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, is the author of Wayward Women: Sexuality and Agency in a New Guinea Society.
Daniel Jordan Smith, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University, is the author of A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria.
Harriet Phinney is a lecturer at Seattle University.
Shanti Parikh is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis.
Constance A. Nathanson, Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences and Professor of Population and Family Health in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, is the author of Disease Prevention as Social Change and Dangerous Passage: The Social Control of Sexuality in Women's Adolescence.

Richard G. Parker is Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Director of the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Health at Columbia University. He is also President of the Brazilian Interdisciplinary AIDS Association (ABIA), the largest nongovernmental AIDS service and advocacy organization in Brazil, and Co-Chair of Sexuality Policy Watch, a global forum composed of researchers, activists, and policy makers.


  • It is remarkable that romantic love is so seldom linked to scholarship on sexuality. Finally in this wonderful collection we have a group of original, timely, and savvy essays that dare to speak of the intimacies of love and passion. The authors represent a broad array of anthropologists who combine feisty theorizing with deliciously contoured ethnography from across the globe. This is a stimulating volume bringing together compact studies of late-modern love.
    --Matthew Gutmann, author of Fixing Men: Sex, Birth Control, and AIDS in Mexico