By Erynn Masi de Casanova

Globalization and financial restructuring have decimated formal jobs in constructing international locations, pushing many ladies into casual employment comparable to direct promoting of cosmetics, fragrance, and different own care items which will "make up the adaptation" among family source of revenue and expenditures. In Ecuador, with its power financial drawback and few possibilities for financially and for my part worthwhile paintings, ladies more and more opt for direct promoting so as to earn source of revenue through activating their social networks. whereas few girls earn the autos and journeys which are iconic prizes within the direct promoting association, many use direct promoting as a part of a collection of family survival strategies.

In this primary in-depth examine of a cosmetics direct promoting association in Latin the US, Erynn Masi de Casanova explores women's identities as employees, together with their juggling of paid paintings and household obligations, their principles approximately expert visual appeal, and their ideas for gathering cash from consumers. targeting girls who paintings for the country's best direct promoting association, she deals attention-grabbing images of the typical lives of ladies promoting own care items in Ecuador's biggest urban, Guayaquil. Addressing gender family (including a glance at men's direct and oblique involvement), the significance of photograph, and the social and fiscal context of direct promoting, Casanova demanding situations assumptions that this type of versatile employment resolves women's work/home conflicts and gives an enormous new point of view on women's paintings in constructing international locations.

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Additional info for Making up the Difference: Women, Beauty, and Direct Selling in Ecuador

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Events (meetings, seminars, parties) rely on materials produced by the company to both sell products and recruit distributors. As Ara Wilson notes, “the direct sales mode is comprised of discourse: of messages conveyed in catalogues, sales techniques, inspirational meetings, promotional materials, and advertisements” (1999, 78). indb 11 3/28/11 1:21:06 PM 12 MAKING UP THE DIFFERENCE texts draw on and create desire for products while also constructing desirable identities for consumers and sellers.

Much of the data I collected on women’s direct selling work in Ecuador contradicts these assumptions. Other scholars state that women are attracted to direct sales because of its low initial investment and low “entry barriers,” and some have referred to a subset of these sellers as “trade-offs”—“those [distributors] who adopted the economic activity in question in an attempt to achieve a worklife balance of interests between economic and non-economic objectives” (Brodie, Stanworth, and Wotruba 2002, 68).

Research has often examined the position of “Third World” women workers vis-à-vis corporations headquartered in the United States and Europe (Fernández-Kelly 1983; Freeman 2000; Salzinger 2003). Such studies illuminate the ways in which ideas about women workers that originate outside the countries in which they work interact with homegrown ideologies about women’s place in society. 8 Direct sales organizations, including Avon, Tupperware, and Amway, have been expanding into new markets in Asia and Latin America, a strategy that has proved successful and profitable for these companies (Cahn 2006; Hopkins 2007; Vincent 2003; A.

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