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Article: What it feels like for a whore: The body politics of women performing erotic labour in Hong Kong

TitleWhat it feels like for a whore: The body politics of women performing erotic labour in Hong Kong
Authors
KeywordsEmotional labour of sex
Female prostitution
Lived experience
Micro-resistance
Whore stigma
Issue Date2006
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0968-6673
Citation
Gender, Work And Organization, 2006, v. 13 n. 5, p. 409-434 How to Cite?
AbstractThis article seeks to investigate the complexity of the working experiences of female prostitutes in Hong Kong, using an oral history approach. Based on 13 in-depth interviews, I depict my respondents as performing the skilled emotional labour of sex in exchange for their client's money. Looking at the ways in which the women manage the job, the self and the business, I argue that their major problem is not with the commercial transaction (that is, the content of the work itself), nor with the 'conflict' between their personal and work selves, but with the social stigma, surveillance and dangers at their workplaces. Inspired by a post-structuralist conception of power and identity formation, I propose a women-centred lived-experience feminist approach in the hope of filling the gap between the bipolar imageries of 'sexual slavery' or 'sex radical' that have been thrown up in the feminist debate over the meaning of prostitution. This approach emphasizes the inter-relationships among women's lived experiences, the micro-sites of social surveillance and the macro-condition of wider society. Although Hong Kong female prostitutes are not 'political' in fighting for their rights and benefits, they have tended to take the path of micro-resistance in combating societal domination. They negotiate an identity of the 'prostitute' that is sensitive and flexible to different institutional areas that seems to jeopardize the neat binaries of madonna/whore, good girl/bad girl, victim/warrior, conformist/radical. This allows them to create their own space to work and survive. © 2006 The Author(s); Journal compilation © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/82467
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.325
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.060
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKong, TSKen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T08:29:38Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T08:29:38Z-
dc.date.issued2006en_HK
dc.identifier.citationGender, Work And Organization, 2006, v. 13 n. 5, p. 409-434en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0968-6673en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/82467-
dc.description.abstractThis article seeks to investigate the complexity of the working experiences of female prostitutes in Hong Kong, using an oral history approach. Based on 13 in-depth interviews, I depict my respondents as performing the skilled emotional labour of sex in exchange for their client's money. Looking at the ways in which the women manage the job, the self and the business, I argue that their major problem is not with the commercial transaction (that is, the content of the work itself), nor with the 'conflict' between their personal and work selves, but with the social stigma, surveillance and dangers at their workplaces. Inspired by a post-structuralist conception of power and identity formation, I propose a women-centred lived-experience feminist approach in the hope of filling the gap between the bipolar imageries of 'sexual slavery' or 'sex radical' that have been thrown up in the feminist debate over the meaning of prostitution. This approach emphasizes the inter-relationships among women's lived experiences, the micro-sites of social surveillance and the macro-condition of wider society. Although Hong Kong female prostitutes are not 'political' in fighting for their rights and benefits, they have tended to take the path of micro-resistance in combating societal domination. They negotiate an identity of the 'prostitute' that is sensitive and flexible to different institutional areas that seems to jeopardize the neat binaries of madonna/whore, good girl/bad girl, victim/warrior, conformist/radical. This allows them to create their own space to work and survive. © 2006 The Author(s); Journal compilation © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=0968-6673en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofGender, Work and Organizationen_HK
dc.rightsThe definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.comen_HK
dc.subjectEmotional labour of sexen_HK
dc.subjectFemale prostitutionen_HK
dc.subjectLived experienceen_HK
dc.subjectMicro-resistanceen_HK
dc.subjectWhore stigmaen_HK
dc.titleWhat it feels like for a whore: The body politics of women performing erotic labour in Hong Kongen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0968-6673&volume=13&issue=5&spage=409&epage=434&date=2006&atitle=What+It+Feels+Like+For+A+Whore:+The+Body+Politics+Of+Women+Performing+Erotic+Labour+In+Hong+Kongen_HK
dc.identifier.emailKong, TSK: travisk@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityKong, TSK=rp00557en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/j.1468-0432.2006.00315.xen_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-33746972431en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros143078en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-33746972431&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume13en_HK
dc.identifier.issue5en_HK
dc.identifier.spage409en_HK
dc.identifier.epage434en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1468-0432-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000239622000001-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridKong, TSK=12809625200en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike791646-

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