Hey! I’m headlining at Sapiens, a lovely and well-researched anthropology website:

MLM in kazakhstan Sapiens article

This article reflects on the stories of Kazakh women who sell imported products for companies like Mary Kay, Xango, and Neways, and what leads them into and out of the business. Check it out here — I’d love to hear your feedback!

Selling Dreams of the Good Life in Kazakhstan

2 thoughts on “Selling Dreams of the Good Life in Kazakhstan

  • October 6, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I was a Peace Corps volunteer at a school about two hours outside of Shymkent. The regional administrator who travelled around to schools to assess teachers’ performance was also a Mary Kay sales lady. When I saw her conduct evaluations in 2004, my teaching colleagues complained bitterly about feeling that if they did not buy expensive cosmetics, they would be evaluated poorly. As an American Peace Corps volunteer and as a person who does not wear makeup, I was the only female teacher not to purchase from her, and the only one not to fear consequences from not shopping. I thought your story was quite interesting. In my limited experience of just this one anecdote, I would think a lucrative, captive market cynically explains that particular Mary Kay sales lady.

  • October 7, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience! Sounds like more of a power issue in that instance. Was it mostly local colleagues who felt pressure, or international teachers as well?


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