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Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden…
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520275551, Hardcover)
This captivating ethnography explores Vietnam’s sex industry as the country ascends the global and regional stage. Over the course of five years, author Kimberly Kay Hoang worked at four exclusive Saigon hostess bars catering to diverse clientele: wealthy local Vietnamese and Asian businessmen, Viet Kieus (ethnic Vietnamese living abroad), Western businessmen, and Western budget-tourists. Dealing in Desire takes an in-depth and often personal look at both the sex workers and their clients to show how Vietnamese high finance and benevolent giving are connected to the intimate spheres of the informal economy. For the domestic super-elite who use the levers of political power to channel foreign capital into real estate and manufacturing projects, conspicuous consumption is a means of projecting an image of Asian ascendancy to potential investors. For Viet Kieus and Westerners who bring remittances into the local economy, personal relationships with local sex workers reinforce their ideas of Asia’s rise and Western decline, while simultaneously bolstering their diminished masculinity. Dealing in Desire illuminates Ho Chi Minh City’s sex industry as not just a microcosm of the global economy, but a critical space where dreams and deals are traded.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:39:44 -0400)
"This fascinating ethnography examines one segment of Vietnam's diverse sex industry. Between 2006 and 2010, author Kimberly Kay Hoang was employed at four exclusive Saigon hostess bars catering to high-end clientele: wealthy Asian businessmen, Western expatriates and tourists, local Vietnamese men, and Viet Kieus (ethnic Vietnamese living abroad). Using participant observation and in-depth interviews with the sex workers, bar owners, managers, and mostly rich clients at all four locations, Hoang argues that Vietnam's high-end sex industry is much more than a byproduct of globalization--it's an integral component of the country's free-market capitalism, including its emergence as a regional economic player. Major business deals in Vietnam often occur within hostess bars, which businessmen use to stage a display of power, forge relationships, and impress clients. Hostesses facilitate these transactions by socializing with clients, as well as fulfilling fantasies of the flesh and of the culture. The author reveals how recent changes in the political economy have shaped the social structure of sex work in the country, just as actors involved in the sex industry have actively shaped Vietnam's political economy. Multiple constructions of gender are emerging across local, national, and global socio-spaces from the bottom up and the top down"--Provided by publisher.
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