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What's Love Got to Do with It?: Ransnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic (Latin America Otherwise: Languages, Empires, Nations) Hardcover – 15 Jul 2004


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Review

"This new research ... understands the multifaceted ways in which Caribbean people negotiate the relationship between sexuality and globalization."
--Jenny Sharpe and Samantha Pinto, "Signs"

"Brennan is largely successful in tapping into the imagination of both Dominican and European residents and sojourners in the town of Sosua.
--William H. Leggett, "Anthropology of Work Review"

"[T]his is a readable ethnography which should interest many scholars on race, gender, and migration. It introduces this under-explored area through rich and accessible photographic and fieldwork data."
--Jinthana Haritaworn, "Ethnic & Racial Studies"

"Brennan's lucid writing and direct argumentation provide a refreshingly clear discussion of the theoretical and ethnographic concerns involving the globalization of sexual consumption and commodification."
--Cymene Howe, "Journal of Anthropological Research"

"Brennan tells a unified narrative.... Brennan allows the reader to do a bit of... 'world traveling' in the process of creating sympathetic understanding and allowing compassion to flow. In a wonderful example of feminist scholarship, facts are not alienated from the lives in which they impact."
--Maurice Hamington, "NWSA Journal"

"Brennan's writing is clear and engaging. . . . history.
"What's Love Got to Do With It? "is a book that offers profound insights into women's work, sexual commerce, international tourism, and the global economy. It is essential reading for scholars and students of gender, sexuality, and political economy in Latin America."
--Patty Kelly, "American Anthropologist"

"[A]n impressive ethnographic study and important contribution to research on Latin America. . . ."What's Love Got to Do With It?," written in plain language and a narrative style, lacks academic jargon and is accessible for a diverse audience. . . . "What's Love Got to Do With It?" . . . works to break down simplistic binary ways of thinking about the global sex industry to reveal an extremely complicated transnational industry."
--Emily Van der Meulen, "International Feminist Journal of Politics"

“In this finely hued ethnography, Denise Brennan questions how transnationalization gets transacted, imagined, and experienced through an examination of the sex trade in a specific locale, Sosúa in Dominican Republic. Interweaving the grand themes of political economy and power inequities with those of desire and fantasy—and from the sides of both (foreign) customer and (local) sex worker—she has crafted a richly textured study of a ‘sexscape’ and its brokering of dreams as much as of money and sex.”—Anne Allison, author of "Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club"

“A smart, timely, eye-opening account. "What’s Love Got To Do with It?" makes both men’s and women’s hopes and strategies visible. It underscores poor women’s capacity for agency and internationalized thinking without portraying the international system of commercialized sexuality as one in which women and men are meeting on a level playing field.”—Cynthia Enloe, author of "The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War"

"A smart, timely, eye-opening account. "What's Love Got To Do with It?" makes both men's and women's hopes and strategies visible. It underscores poor women's capacity for agency and internationalized thinking without portraying the international system of commercialized sexuality as one in which women and men are meeting on a level playing field."--Cynthia Enloe, author of "The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War"

A smart, timely, eye-opening account. "What s Love Got To Do with It?" makes both men s and women s hopes and strategies visible. It underscores poor women s capacity for agency and internationalized thinking without portraying the international system of commercialized sexuality as one in which women and men are meeting on a level playing field. Cynthia Enloe, author of "The Morning After: Sexual Politics at the End of the Cold War""

In this finely hued ethnography, Denise Brennan questions how transnationalization gets transacted, imagined, and experienced through an examination of the sex trade in a specific locale, Sosua in Dominican Republic. Interweaving the grand themes of political economy and power inequities with those of desire and fantasy and from the sides of both (foreign) customer and (local) sex worker she has crafted a richly textured study of a sexscape and its brokering of dreams as much as of money and sex. Anne Allison, author of "Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club""

From the Back Cover

"In this finely hued ethnography, Denise Brennan questions how transnationalization gets transacted, imagined, and experienced through an examination of the sex trade in a specific locale, Sosua in Dominican Republic. Interweaving the grand themes of political economy and power inequities with those of desire and fantasy--and from the sides of both (foreign) customer and (local) sex worker--she has crafted a richly textured study of a 'sexscape' and its brokering of dreams as much as of money and sex."--Anne Allison, author of "Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club"

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x96bdebc4) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
HASH(0x97125870) out of 5 stars An interesting study done in a very readable style 5 Jun. 2013
By Richard H. Eldridge - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a study of the Dominican coastal resort town of Sosua and the sex workers and their customers, and deals with the expectations and motivations of why people come to Sosua, what the expect and how their expectations are fulfilled or not. It uses aliases for both the names of the people interviewed and the bars in which they work. Sosua is divided into a poor Dominican section (los Charamicos) and a prosperous mostly foreign-owned section (El Batey).

The Dominican culture is rather different with regard to both sex and race to the US and Europe and because of these differences, Sosua became a very popular meeting place for European and North American men to find friendly and attractive women to bond with in various ways. In some cases, Dominican women have married their former customers and left the country. Some if these have returned discouraged, and the author deals with this as well.

The study focuses on the Spanish-speaking Dominicans rather than a Haitian Creole-speaking minority that does not speak Spanish, but it does indicate the attitudes toward the Haitians held by Dominicans and vice-versa.

The study is somewhat dated, ending in 2003, when there was a severe decline in the number of tourists to Sosua. I understand that tourism in Sosua has recovered. Those seeking more up to date information should consult the DR1.com website and its forums.

Well written and scholarly. I found it fascinating. I have visited the DR several times and like the author, have discussed the role of tourism and the desire of Dominicans to migrate out of their country.
HASH(0x96ebae58) out of 5 stars New Perspective 20 Aug. 2013
By Tom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a young college student who has never travelled to the Dominican Republic, I learned a lot from this book about an issue that I had never really thought twice about in this area. This book opened up my eyes to some of the economic troubles of the area and how prostitution has played a role in the lives of many women there. I would recommend this.
HASH(0x96dd2450) out of 5 stars Great research 8 Jan. 2014
By J. Christopher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was well researched and having been to the Dominican Republic, very accurate and speaks to the cultural, economic and social setting of country. Enjoyed.
By Elcio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived on date and in perfect conditions. An excellent ethnographic work that shows us the positive factor of the money in human relations.
HASH(0x97125e04) out of 5 stars I assign it to one of my classes and it always leads to great class discussions 11 Dec. 2015
By Jeff P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting book. I assign it to one of my classes and it always leads to great class discussions.
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