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Policing PleasureSex Work, Policy, and the State in Global Perspective$
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Susan Dewey and Patty Kelly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814785089

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814785089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 27 February 2020

Sex Work and the State in Contemporary China

Sex Work and the State in Contemporary China

(p.45) 4 Sex Work and the State in Contemporary China
Policing Pleasure

Tiantian Zheng

NYU Press

This chapter examines how sex workers have been affected by China's abolitionist policy, which conflates all sex work with forced prostitution and results in anti-trafficking campaigns that do little to improve the living conditions of the country's migrant women workers. Drawing on more than twenty months of fieldwork between 1999 and 2002 in Dalian involving approximately two hundred bar hostesses in ten karaoke bars, the chapter reveals how Chinese police and other state authorities collude with local officials and brothel managers, forcing sex workers into a state of constant vigilance. It also discusses the factors that facilitated the growth of Dalian's karaoke bar industry and the impact of China's anti-trafficking policy on hostesses working in karaoke bars by depicting them alternately as victims or deviants. Finally, it analyzes the perception of Dalian's sex workers, most of them rural migrants, that hostessing is the best option for social mobility.

Keywords:   sex workers, China, abolitionist policy, sex work, prostitution, anti-trafficking policy, migrant women workers, Dalian, karaoke bar industry, social mobility

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