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postgraduate thesis: Girl handlers: a contemporary look at 21st century Colombian pimping in Hong Kong

TitleGirl handlers: a contemporary look at 21st century Colombian pimping in Hong Kong
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Bakken, B
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Forrester, R. R.. (2012). Girl handlers : a contemporary look at 21st century Colombian pimping in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4961731
AbstractThe aim of this thesis is to explain the identity narratives of three different Colombian ‘girl handlers’ in Hong Kong and how these form a nexus to a wider context of human trafficking and organised crime. This investigation takes form in the analysis of their impression management utilising the concepts of front-stage, back-stage, facework, techniques of neutralisation they utilise to justify their behaviour, and their links to organised crime syndicates operating both within and outside of Hong Kong. I also look at the way in which they go about doing their business of ‘girl handling’ in practice. The research was conducted to gain a better understanding of this particular criminal subculture. The context of the aforementioned forms of analysis; and attempts to offer original insight into this criminal group. It is a relatively small operation functioning within the greater scheme of the sex trade and as such, most of the people involved in this trade were interviewed. This investigation was conducted through in-depth interviews of the Colombian ‘girl handlers’ and in-depth interviews with a priest who is familiar with this scene. In addition I have analysed both Colombian court documents which verify certain claims made by the research participants and documents released by the United Nations in relations to a particular case which will be mentioned in the third chapter of this thesis. The empirical findings of this research demonstrate that Colombian girl handlers have to manage different façades to operate in this trade and keep it secret from people they do not trust; this works both ways as they would lose credibility in both their legal and illegal jobs. Another finding is that they utilise various techniques of neutralisation to justify their behaviour and actions in the trade. The last finding illustrates that all three girl handlers have some ties to an organised crime syndicate (if they are not fully affiliated) as they would not be allowed to operate within this field without such connections. Those who do, conform to the ‘outer layers’ or ‘fringes’ of the Colombian cartels. The interviewees therefore could be defined as small cogs working in the “outer layers” of an international machine of crime syndicates far away from Hong Kong. This study therefore allows for the understanding of Colombian ‘girl handlers’ in different forms which make each unique in the way that he conducts his business.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectProstitutes - China - Hong Kong.
Human trafficking - China - Hong Kong.
Organized crime - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/192645

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorBakken, B-
dc.contributor.authorForrester, Ricardo Reinaldo.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-11-18T07:04:37Z-
dc.date.available2013-11-18T07:04:37Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationForrester, R. R.. (2012). Girl handlers : a contemporary look at 21st century Colombian pimping in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4961731-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/192645-
dc.description.abstractThe aim of this thesis is to explain the identity narratives of three different Colombian ‘girl handlers’ in Hong Kong and how these form a nexus to a wider context of human trafficking and organised crime. This investigation takes form in the analysis of their impression management utilising the concepts of front-stage, back-stage, facework, techniques of neutralisation they utilise to justify their behaviour, and their links to organised crime syndicates operating both within and outside of Hong Kong. I also look at the way in which they go about doing their business of ‘girl handling’ in practice. The research was conducted to gain a better understanding of this particular criminal subculture. The context of the aforementioned forms of analysis; and attempts to offer original insight into this criminal group. It is a relatively small operation functioning within the greater scheme of the sex trade and as such, most of the people involved in this trade were interviewed. This investigation was conducted through in-depth interviews of the Colombian ‘girl handlers’ and in-depth interviews with a priest who is familiar with this scene. In addition I have analysed both Colombian court documents which verify certain claims made by the research participants and documents released by the United Nations in relations to a particular case which will be mentioned in the third chapter of this thesis. The empirical findings of this research demonstrate that Colombian girl handlers have to manage different façades to operate in this trade and keep it secret from people they do not trust; this works both ways as they would lose credibility in both their legal and illegal jobs. Another finding is that they utilise various techniques of neutralisation to justify their behaviour and actions in the trade. The last finding illustrates that all three girl handlers have some ties to an organised crime syndicate (if they are not fully affiliated) as they would not be allowed to operate within this field without such connections. Those who do, conform to the ‘outer layers’ or ‘fringes’ of the Colombian cartels. The interviewees therefore could be defined as small cogs working in the “outer layers” of an international machine of crime syndicates far away from Hong Kong. This study therefore allows for the understanding of Colombian ‘girl handlers’ in different forms which make each unique in the way that he conducts his business.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B4961731X-
dc.subject.lcshProstitutes - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshHuman trafficking - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.subject.lcshOrganized crime - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleGirl handlers: a contemporary look at 21st century Colombian pimping in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4961731-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4961731-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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