Leslie Salzinger

Leslie Salzinger

Associate professor, sociology

Education: Ph.D., sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Specialization: Ethnography, gender, feminist theory, and economics

Representative Publication: Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico’s Global Factories (Berkeley, 2003)

Honors: LASA Bryce Wood Book Award, honorable mention, 2004; American Sociological Association Sex and Gender Section Distinguished Book Award, honorable mention, 2004

Projects: My interest is in understanding how meanings and identities—about gender and other things as well—shape the economy. In my last project, I went to export processing plants in Mexico and looked at the role of femininity in structuring the way managers organize production and get people to work. My current research is in finance, and I’m looking at the peso-dollar exchange. Since I’m an ethnographer, I actually sit with traders in Mexico City and New York City and watch them trade. I’m interested in how masculinity and national allegiances and corporate cultures—among other things—end up shaping how these markets function. There was a period in the early 1990s when it became clear to me that finance was what determined a tremendous amount of any third world country’s trajectory. As a progressive, I felt that it was important to take apart the image of finance as something that we couldn’t affect or control. I think that if we can get people to see the process as less inevitable, we can find tools for challenging it ideologically.

Read reviews of Leslie Salzinger’s Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico’s Global Factories.