Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China

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U of Minnesota Press, 2009 - Social Science - 293 pages
In China today, sex work cannot be untangled from the phenomenon of rural-urban migration, the entertainment industry, and state power. In Red Lights, Tiantian Zheng highlights the urban karaoke bar as the locus at which these three factors intersect and provides a rich account of the lives of karaoke hostesses--a career whose name disguises the sex work and minimizes the surprising influence these women often have as power brokers.
 

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A twisted understanding of social phenomena observed in parts of the Chinese society of the 1990's. Having read excerpts from various sections of this work, it seems that the author attempts to analyse social issues from the perspective of individuals without accounting for the natural intimacy of human relations. The result is a discussion of stereotypes that completely forgoes the inner workings of individuals in specific situations. It should also be noted that this work makes the mistake of over-analysing various popular Chinese catch-phrases and one-liner jokes. The author tends to explain these phrases literally without discussing the context and intent with which the phrase is usually uttered. 

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Contents

Introduction Masculinity Power and the Chinese State
1
1 Patriarchy Prostitution and Masculinity in Dalian
35
A New Sexual Awakening
53
Class in the Karaoke Bars
79
Sex and the Modern Man
105
5 The Return of the Prodigal Daughter
147
6 Clothes Make the Woman
173
The Commodification of Intimacy and Romance
211
Afterword From Entertainer to Prostitute
243
Acknowledgments
249
Notes
253
Index
281
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About the author (2009)

Tiantian Zheng is associate professor of anthropology at the State University of New York, Cortland.

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