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Conference Paper: Dangerous liaisons: race, gender and prostitution in early Colonial Hong Kong

TitleDangerous liaisons: race, gender and prostitution in early Colonial Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2011
Citation
The 2011 International Conference on Disease and Crime, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 18-19 April 2011. How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper situates prostitution in early colonial Hong Kong within the broader context of debates about race and immigration in mid-nineteenth century Britain. In 1857, Hong Kong passed an ‘Ordinance for Checking the Spread of Venereal Disease,’ which anticipated the Contagious Diseases Act in Britain by seven years, and required prostitutes who serviced European clients to be examined regularly and detained in the Lock Hospital until treated. Meanwhile, depictions of prostitutes as agents of contagion permeated the press and government reports. Chinese prostitutes were invariably portrayed as sexual predators who dwelt on the periphery of Hong Kong society, from whence they preyed upon their European victims. According to such narratives, Chinese prostitutes were construed as a criminal class that threatened the colony’s social stability. Drawing on a wide range of sources, this paper explores the assumptions and contradictions that underlay these narratives of ‘dangerous liaisons.’ It demonstrates how racial tensions in the colony echoed and configured metropolitan anxieties over immigration from the 1830s, when immigrants were suspected of importing disease and other evil practices into the country. Finally, the paper considers the implications of a discourse that pitted Chinese prostitutes, as active agents, against a ‘feminized’ and passive European masculinity.
DescriptionSession 2
Conference Theme: Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/161179

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTsang, CCLen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-16T06:40:45Z-
dc.date.available2012-08-16T06:40:45Z-
dc.date.issued2011en_US
dc.identifier.citationThe 2011 International Conference on Disease and Crime, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 18-19 April 2011.en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/161179-
dc.descriptionSession 2-
dc.descriptionConference Theme: Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health-
dc.description.abstractThis paper situates prostitution in early colonial Hong Kong within the broader context of debates about race and immigration in mid-nineteenth century Britain. In 1857, Hong Kong passed an ‘Ordinance for Checking the Spread of Venereal Disease,’ which anticipated the Contagious Diseases Act in Britain by seven years, and required prostitutes who serviced European clients to be examined regularly and detained in the Lock Hospital until treated. Meanwhile, depictions of prostitutes as agents of contagion permeated the press and government reports. Chinese prostitutes were invariably portrayed as sexual predators who dwelt on the periphery of Hong Kong society, from whence they preyed upon their European victims. According to such narratives, Chinese prostitutes were construed as a criminal class that threatened the colony’s social stability. Drawing on a wide range of sources, this paper explores the assumptions and contradictions that underlay these narratives of ‘dangerous liaisons.’ It demonstrates how racial tensions in the colony echoed and configured metropolitan anxieties over immigration from the 1830s, when immigrants were suspected of importing disease and other evil practices into the country. Finally, the paper considers the implications of a discourse that pitted Chinese prostitutes, as active agents, against a ‘feminized’ and passive European masculinity.-
dc.languageengen_US
dc.relation.ispartofInternational Conference on Disease and Crimeen_US
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titleDangerous liaisons: race, gender and prostitution in early Colonial Hong Kongen_US
dc.typeConference_Paperen_US
dc.identifier.emailTsang, CCL: cctsang1@hku.hken_US
dc.description.naturepostprint-
dc.identifier.hkuros205712en_US
dc.customcontrol.immutablesml 130827-

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