Policing Pleasure: Sex Work, Policy, and the State in Global Perspective

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Susan Dewey, Patty Kelly
NYU Press, Dec 1, 2011 - Social Science - 240 pages
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Mónica waits in the Anti-Venereal Medical Service of the Zona Galactica, the legal, state-run brothel where she works in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico. Surrounded by other sex workers, she clutches the Sanitary Control Cards that deem her registered with the city, disease-free, and able to work. On the other side of the world, Min stands singing karaoke with one of her regular clients, warily eyeing the door lest a raid by the anti-trafficking Public Security Bureau disrupt their evening by placing one or both of them in jail.

Whether in Mexico or China, sex work-related public policy varies considerably from one community to the next. A range of policies dictate what is permissible, many of them intending to keep sex workers themselves healthy and free from harm. Yet often, policies with particular goals end up having completely different consequences.

Policing Pleasure examines cross-cultural public policies related to sex work, bringing together ethnographic studies from around the world—from South Africa to India—to offer a nuanced critique of national and municipal approaches to regulating sex work. Contributors offer new theoretical and methodological perspectives that move beyond already well-established debates between “abolitionists” and “sex workers’ rights advocates” to document both the intention of public policies on sex work and their actual impact upon those who sell sex, those who buy sex, and public health more generally.
 

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Contents

Sex Work and the Politics of Public Policy
1
2 International Trends in the Control of Sexual Services
16
Managing Sexuality in Neoliberal Mexico
31
4 Sex Work and the State in Contemporary China
45
Rethinking Single Parenthood in a Mexican Tourist Destination
59
Violence Labor and Surveillance in a Rust Belt Topless Bar
73
Why Maritime Sugar Girls Are Safer Than Urban Streetwalkers in South Africas Prostitution Industry
86
Female Adolescent Prostitutes Strategies of Resistance in Cape Town South Africa
100
10 Prostitution in Contemporary Rio de Janeiro
130
11 Prevailing Voices in Debates over Child Prostitution
146
12 Organizational Challenges Facing Male Sex Workers in Brazils Tourist Zones
159
The Reproduction of Inequality within Contemporary Social Reform of Devadasis
172
Sex Tourism Trafficking and the Limits of Transnational Mobility in Bahia
189
References
201
About the Contributors
221
Index
223

Everyday Negotiations of State Regulation among Female Sex Workers in Nairobi Kenya
115

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About the author (2011)

Susan Dewey is Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and adjunct in International Studies at the University of Wyoming. Her books include Neon Wasteland: On Love, Motherhood, and Sex Work in a Rust Belt Town and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence: International Law, Local Responses. 

Patty Kelly is Assistant Research Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is the author of Lydia’s Open Door: Inside Mexico’s Most Modern Brothel.

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