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Sara L. Friedman

Sara L. FriedmanProfessor of Gender Studies and Anthropology

Send Email | (812) 856-4595 | Student Building 130


Ph.D., Cornell University, 2000


G215 - Sex and Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective
G402 - Problems In Gender Studies (Politics Of Marriage)
G402 - On the Move Across Asia: Gender, Mobility, Migration
G701 - Gender, Citizenship, and Belonging


Professor Friedman's research focuses on the relationship between political processes and intimate life in China and Taiwan. Her first book, Intimate Politics: Marriage, the Market, and State Power in Southeastern China (Harvard University Press, 2006), looked at how China's socialist regime sought to produce new socialist citizens through transforming intimate practices associated with marriage, labor, bodily adornment, and same-sex networks. She then went on to study how cross-cultural analyses of intimacy and sexuality challenge norms rooted in Euro-American cultures. Through an analysis of transnational film circuits, she asked whether same-sex intimacy is always perceived as sexual or whether more varied frameworks exist cross-culturally for interpreting and experiencing intimacy outside of sexual identity.

Exceptional StatesProfessor Friedman has recently completed a project that studied new configurations of marriage, immigration, and sovereignty emerging in an increasingly mobile Asia. Her book, Exceptional States: Chinese Immigrants and Taiwanese Sovereignty (University of California Press, 2015), examines marital immigration from China to Taiwan and documents powerful parallels between the struggles of Chinese immigrant spouses and the uncertain future of the Taiwan nation-state. The book calls attention to a group of immigrants whose exceptional status has become necessary to Taiwan's national integrity, using rich ethnography to reveal the social, political, and personal consequences of living on the margins of citizenship and sovereignty.

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