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The Chinese Heroin TradeCross-Border Drug Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Beyond$
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Ko-lin Chin and Sheldon X. Zhang

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479895403

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479895403.001.0001

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Women in the Heroin Trade

Women in the Heroin Trade

(p.173) 7 Women in the Heroin Trade
The Chinese Heroin Trade

Ko-lin Chin

NYU Press

This chapter examines women’s participation in drug trafficking and street drug dealings in Yunnan, China, to understand how women have played a role in gaining and maintaining market positions in this illicit business. Drawing on data from a survey of 297 convicted female inmates and in-depth interviews with more than a dozen active female drug dealers in the community, it proposes a niche market perspective for understanding women’s participation in this illicit enterprise. Unlike other traditional enterprises, women were not simply relegated to invisible margins, but instead were present in many levels of the drug trade. In most cases, women worked for or with male partners, but they occasionally participated independently. Perhaps the most important feature of the drug trade along the border between Yunnan and Burma that shapes women’s participation is the absence of violence.

Keywords:   female drug traffickers, drug trade, drug trafficking, heroin trade, Chinese drug market, Yunnan, Burma

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