The Work Of The Nail Salon Industry Essays

1411 Words Apr 4th, 2016 6 Pages
A. Miliann Kang’s ethnographic novel The Managed Hand is comprised of in-depth analyses of the intersections between class, gender, and race in the nail salon industry. Dozens of nail salons across the United States are run by Asian, primarily Korean, immigrants who run their own salons as a way of becoming financially independent in a foreign country. Class becomes a large factor when examining both those who own the salons, as well as the types of people who are customers at the salons. Additionally, the intersections between race and class are often very obvious, specifically in the nail industry. In general, the women who work at, own and operate nail salons are fairly well off in terms of yearly income. This is not to say their days are not long and grueling, because that is not the case at all, but most of the time they are not struggling to make financial ends meet. However, despite all this, their socioeconomic status is still seen as fairly low. Socioeconomic status combines wealth and income, and often takes social status into account. In Inequality by Design, Fischer et al. writes that “being tall, slender, good-looking, healthy, male, and white helps in the race for success” (20). However, most of the the women Kang is writing about are generally middle-aged, Asian females, which is a large part of the reason why these nail salon owners struggle to move up the social ladder even after finding success in the nail industry. The difference in class…

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