book review on hirsch jennifer s 2003 a courtship after marriage sexuality and love in mexican transnational families 3rd edition university of california press isbn 9780520228719


#1 According to Hirsh (2003) what is a transnational community? How had Mexican courtship change due to migration and transnationalism?

Hirsh uses the Mexican transnational community to understand how the social construction of gender is affected along with sexuality and fertility in transnationalism. A transnational community is created by having a group of individuals who establish different national societies. There is a network that is created with these different societies and that in turn, solidifies a strength that crosses national borders. Hirsh offers an understanding of transnational community by using the Mexican community in both Mexico and in the United States. She first introduces a comparison of sexuality and fertility health practices of Mexican women who live in Mexico and of Mexican women who reside in Atlanta, USA. Hirsh shows how transnational migration affects gender roles of both men and women, sexuality, fertility, and introduces how the social construction of gender changes with migration. Mexican courtship also changes due to migration and transnationalism and according to Hirsh, there is a difference between Mexican women in Atlanta and their paisanas in Mexico and how they interpret courtship and marriage. The different locations affect the women of both the Mexican transnational communities mentioned, these differences are influenced over time principally in their marriage, sexuality, reproductive health practices, and fertility objectives.

#2 What are the differences between marriages of respeto and marriages of confianza? Discuss the ways in which female submission and marriage changed due to migration.

There is a generational transformation between marriages of respto (respect) and marriages of confiaza (trust). A relationship of respeto can be categorized by two people who are only in the initial stages of their romance and there is a physical along with an emotional distance that is first kept. A relationship of confiaza (trust) goes beyond just having respeto (respect) for one another. Confianza goes hand in hand with courtship and has aspects of both verbal and sexual sentiments. The younger generation of women do not necessarily follow these traditional marital ideals. Female submission and marriage changes due to migration and according the Hirsch, throughout the last decade Mexican women who migrate to “el norte” (the North) have built a foundation of not conforming with traditional standards. Mexican women who have moved to the United States and returned to their motherland show the community the habits that are accepted in a different nation. They do not dress as modest, they are able or have learned to drive, they smoke in public… these women parade the new and modern accustoms they picked up in a different land. Women are also more powerful in America because of social and economic relations of their wage. It is evident that in transnational communities marital conditions are different depending on location. Mexican women in America are exposed to more resources as a whole, in turn, generating a different lifestyle and cultural exposure than women who remain in Mexico.

#3 Describe the changes in marital sexuality discussed by Hirsh (2003). How had migration and transnationalism transformed fertility levels and trends in Mexico?

The changes in marital sexuality vary from generation. According to Hirsch, it is the younger generation of women that worked to build a sexual relationship bond than older generations had. With an interview Hirsch had with a married woman “V,” the woman explains how sex in her relationship with her husband is so important that she considers it to be half of what holds her relationship together. The foundation of a successful marriage is the confianza (trust) that married couples possess, without it sexual fluidity could not work. Hirsch explains that demographers concluded that Mexican women’s fertility decreases with migration. Transnationalism changed fertility levels as women began to want to produce at a later age and have less children due to the systematic structure of America that includes greater economic and educational opportunities, and different ideals of contraceptive use in the new culture.

  1. Book to review: Hirsch, Jennifer S. (2003) A Courtship after Marriage: Sexuality and Love in Mexican Transnational Families. 3rd edition. University of California Press. ISBN 978052022871
  2. Insightful critical review that included your thoughts about what you learned and/or were surprised to read. Content included keywords from other texts and readings.
  3. 1,400 or more words, header or cover page was not included for word requirement.
  4. Microsoft Word; double-spaced with a standard font and pitch no larger than 12 points.
  5. In-text citations included in the paper; references provided for every figure, table, or data from the textbook, additional readings, or web pages; references and in-text citations are uniformly formatted.
  6. No grammatical errors. Review was organized, proofread and spellchecked.
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