Prostitution and Beyond: An Analysis of Sex Workers in India

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Rohini Sahni, V. Kalyan Shankar, Hemant Apte
SAGE Publications, Jul 11, 2008 - Social Science - 369 pages
3 Reviews
What is the diversity of perspectives on sex work in India today? This edited volume addresses this question through its sections on feminist discourse, ethnographic studies, socio-economic-legal-health frameworks and cultural reflections.

The first section explores the space for women in prostitution within mainstream feminist discourse in India, and the way it has evolved over time. The second section emphasizes on the heterogeneity of sex work practices with their historical vestiges, contemporary manifestations and urban-rural contrasts. The third section examines the interface of society and prostitution, tracing economic and social undercurrents, health concerns and legal regulations. The final section focuses on the bearings of prostitution on the cultural spheres of literature, language, cinema, theatre and media.

In addition to rigorous academic research, this volume also pools in case studies, live discussions and interviews, drawing the experience of a wide spectrum of professionals and organizations working with sex workers.

This book is a must-read for professionals and academicians in the fields of Gender Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Public Health and Social Work.

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About the author (2008)

Rohini Sahni is Reader, Department of Economics, University of Pune. As a specialist in development economics and international economics, she has been exploring the role of gender in the process of development. Her interest in research on sex work has stemmed from her close interaction with women’s groups/organizations and research on sex workers in Pune. Presently, her research interests include problems of Indian higher education and economic-cultural interactions as emerging from globalization. Beyond research, she is an established writer of short stories (in Marathi), sketching the contemporary urban lives of women.

V Kalyan Shankar is currently a Doctoral student at the Department of Economics, University of Pune, working in the area of international trade and development, WTO agreements and its impact on developing countries including India. He hails from a family of social reformers, scholars and poets in Andhra Pradesh. This background has profoundly influenced his concerns and sensibilities, leading him to work on issues of social concern.

Hemant Apte is Reader, Department of Anthropology, University of Pune. He is the President of Late Professor Yamato Kawakami Foundation, an NGO working for women and the Vice President of Maharashtra Association for Anthropological Sciences. He has 13 years of experience as a researcher, consultant, trainer and teacher in sexuality, reproductive health and research methodology. His current interest is in the fi elds of reproductive health, HIV, sexuality and participatory research methodology.

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