Julia Meszaros, ABD* - Florida International University
This paper explores the importance of racialized desires and hierarchies within the romance tourism industry by comparing tours in the Ukraine, the Philippines and Colombia. This paper seeks to answer questions regarding what is desirable within the political economy of desire for both men and women participants. Desire has a colonial background that continues to influence current manifestations of desire. Space plays an important role in the manufacture of this desire, since space is imbued with certain racialized characteristics. Colombia as a space is imbued with notions of hotness, spiciness and racially mixed women. The Ukraine is imbued with notions of coldness, whiteness and high desirability. Finally, the Philippines as a space is imbued with notions of exoticism and women who are slim and petite. These spaces draw men from the United States (as well as other "Western" spaces) who are seeking a new partner and this paper seeks to determine why men choose one space over the other and how that choice relates racialized hierarchies within the political economy of desire.