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Filipino Crosscurrents

Oceanographies of Seafaring, Masculinities, and Globalization

2011
Author:

Kale Bantigue Fajardo

Filipino Crosscurrents

How migrant Filipino seamen navigate alternative masculinities in the global shipping industry

Filipino Crosscurrents examines the cultural politics of seafaring, Filipino maritime masculinities, and globalization in the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora. Drawing on fieldwork conducted on ships and in the ports of Manila and Oakland, and on an industrial container ship on the Pacific, Kale Fajardo argues that the Philippine state and economic elites promote Filipino masculinity and neoliberal globalization through Filipino seamen.

Filipino Crosscurrents is a very exciting book, whose contributions include its rich data; its use of a multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating ethnography, history, and literature; and its ‘crosscurrents framework’ which looks at those in-between spaces that people inhabit.

Rhacel Parrenas, University of Southern California

Filipino seamen currently compose approximately twenty percent of the 1.2 million international maritime transportation workers. Ninety percent of the world’s goods and commodities are transported by ship. Taken together, these statistics attest to the critical role Filipino seamen play in worldwide maritime trade. In Filipino Crosscurrents, an interdisciplinary ethnography, Kale Bantigue Fajardo examines the cultural politics of seafaring, Filipino maritime masculinities, and globalization in the Philippines and the Filipino diaspora.

Drawing on fieldwork conducted on ships and in the ports of Manila and Oakland, as well as on an industrial container ship that traveled across the Pacific, Fajardo argues that Filipino seamen have become key figures through which the Philippine state and economic elites promote Filipino masculinity and neoliberal globalization. From government officials to working-class seamen and seafarers’ advocates, Fajardo’s wide-ranging analysis exposes the gaps in dominant narratives of Filipino seamen in national, regional, and global contexts.

Writing in a hybrid style that weaves together ethnographic description, cultural critique, travelogue, and autobiography, Fajardo invites readers to reconsider the meanings of masculinity and manhood.

Filipino Crosscurrents

Kale Bantigue Fajardo is assistant professor of American studies and Asian American studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Filipino Crosscurrents

Filipino Crosscurrents is a very exciting book, whose contributions include its rich data; its use of a multi-disciplinary approach, incorporating ethnography, history, and literature; and its ‘crosscurrents framework’ which looks at those in-between spaces that people inhabit.

Rhacel Parrenas, University of Southern California

Part of the pioneering move that connects maritime history not only to gender studies but to queer studies. . . This thoughtful and original book is worth perusing open-mindedly because it illuminates new possibilities for the writing of maritime histories.

International Journal of Maritime History

This is not your parents’ immigration history. Fully globalized, unapologetically theoretical, forthrightly queer, Filipino Crosscurrents charts a course toward a migration studies for the twenty-first century.

Journal of American Ethnic History

Filipino Crosscurrents

Contents

Preface. Boatmen and Boyhood
Introduction. Filipino Crosscurrents
1. The Race of the Century: Galleons and Global City Desires in Manila
2. Ashore and Away: Filipino Seamen as Heroes and Deserters
3. Ethnography in Blue: Navigating Time-Space in the Global Economy
4. Transportation: Seamen and Tomboys in Ports and at Sea
Epilogue. Decolonizing Filipino Masculinities

Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Index