Archive for the ‘Sex work’ Category

Chinese Prostitution in America in the Late 1800s & Social Perception in Regards to Cultural Attitudes and Filial Piety

In Chinese-American, Filial piety, Sex work, Sexuality, Social theory, Socioeconomics on 15 July, 2010 at 06:36

Filial piety describes a view common in Confucian and Buddhist thought of an overall respect,  love, and moral obligation to one’s parents. More specifically, it specifies “to take care of one’s parents;  not be rebellious; show love, respect and support; display courtesy; ensure male heirs; uphold fraternity among brothers; wisely advise one ‘s parents; conceal their mistakes; display sorrow for their sickness and death; and carry  out sacrifices after their death.” It is a concept very much involved in the social  changes occurring within the Chinese population immigrating to the United States – specifically California – in the mid- to late-1800s, and the reaction of the population to a dramatically different social and cultural climate. It is this concept of filial piety that is discussed here in relation to the position of Chinese women – in particular prostitutes – inextricably intertwined in a male- dominated ethnic enclave within an overbearingly racist dominant society. Read the rest of this entry »

Postindustrialism, Socioeconomics, & Sexual Commerce

In Bernstein, Sex work, Sexuality, Social theory, Socioeconomics on 15 July, 2010 at 03:56

Prostitution in postindustrial societies such as the United States is experiencing dramatic reorganization – sex workers are no longer necessarily the poorest, most marginalized strata, but are instead coming from the more educated middle class. This demographic shift is intricately related to and reflective of a shift in the character of the variety of sexual labour being bought and sold from a quick and dirty sexual release to an authentic experience of sexual intimacy, eroticism, and desire. The unremarkable advertisement of sex workers as providing the girlfriend experience, in which women attempt to provide a level of intimacy typically ascribed to intimate interpersonal relationships, exemplifies a deliberate attempt to fill a growing niche market for the sale and purchase of sexual activity with a greater value than that of traditional prostitution – the additive qualities of intimacy, sensuality and eroticism – to a market of largely overworked professional men.

The rapid shift from public outdoor street prostitution to privatized indoor sex work is actively encouraged by political figures worldwide, who seek to clear regions of public exposure for inner-city gentrification, not necessarily to eradicate solicitation of the new sexual leisure activities. Sex work has experienced dramatic changes in its character in the last twenty years due to sometimes subtle yet highly influential structural mechanisms, such as the rise of post-industrialism and hence subsequent changes in socioeconomic patterns/ economic restructuring, which served to redefine the character of sex work; that redefinition has been termed bounded authenticity by sociologist Elizabeth Bernstein. Read the rest of this entry »