Modern Babylon?: Prostituting Children in Thailand

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Berghahn Books, 2001 - Psychology - 192 pages
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Child prostitution became one of the key concerns of the international community in the 1990s. World congresses were held, international and national laws were changed and concern over "cemmercially sexually exploited children" rose dramatically. Rarely, however, were the children who worked as prostitutes consulted of questioned in this process, and the voices of these children brought into focus. This book is the first to address the children directly, to examine their daily lives, their motivations and their perceptions of what they do. Based on 15 months of fieldwork in a Thai tourist community that survived through child prostitution, this book draws on anthropological theories on childhood and kinship to contextualize the experiences of this group of Thai child prostitutes and to contrast these with the stereotypes held of them by those outside their community.

 

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Contents

History And Context
21
NGOs and the Discovery of Child Prostitution
29
The Extent of the Problem
33
History and Myth
40
Cultural Constructions Of Childhood
53
Childhood in Thailand
57
What Constitutes a Good Childhood?
62
Childhood and State Intervention
66
Prostitution and its Alternatives
95
The LifeCycle of Prostitution
102
Identity And Its Difficulties
107
Sexuality and Identity
111
Gender Prostitution and Identity
123
Social Identity
128
Protecting Innocence
133
Buying Innocence
139

The Child Prostitutes Of Baan Nua
69
Child Prostitution in Baan Nua
76
Kinship and Reciprocity
82
Reciprocity Friends and Clients
86
Struggles And Contradictions
89
Maintaining Innocence
144
Conclusion
155
Bibliography
175
Index
189
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Heather Montgomeryis reader in the anthropology of the child at the Open University.

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