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Circuits of VisibilityGender and Transnational Media Cultures$
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Radha S. Hegde

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814737309

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814737309.001.0001

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Maid as Metaphor

Maid as Metaphor

Dagongmei and a New Pathway to Chinese Transnational Capital

Chapter:
(p.196) 11 Maid as Metaphor
Source:
Circuits of Visibility
Author(s):

Wanning Sun

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814737309.003.0011

This chapter notes that the circuit of transnational capital is inhabited not only by power elites but also by invisible laboring bodies. It begins with an examination of Jia Zhangke's film, The World, which underscores an often underexplored connection between transnational imagination and global mobility. The lives of the migrant workers in the film demonstrate that mobility can be understood as both a material and a mental process, one predicated on the consumption of transnational images. The chapter then studies the figure of the maid and the particular labor of Chinese dagongmei (female migrant worker), tracing a number of often contradictory ways in which the migrant maid is configured in the narratives of nationalism and global capitalism to establish the maid as an evolving metaphor in Chinese popular mediatized narratives of modernity.

Keywords:   Chinese transnational capital, transnational imagination, global mobility, transnational images, Chinese dagongmei, migrant maid, nationalism, global capitalism, modernity

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