Sex Trafficking in Southeast Asia: A History of Desire, Duty, and Debt (Hardback) book cover

Sex Trafficking in Southeast Asia

A History of Desire, Duty, and Debt

By Trude Jacobsen

© 2017 – Routledge

140 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138683075
pub: 2016-10-27
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pub: 2016-11-10
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Description

This book brings an important new perspective to the study of sex trafficking by considering the different types of social contracts which existed in the past that had sexual labour or activity as an inherent component. It outlines the nature of these social institutions – marriage, temporary marriage, debt bondage, and slavery – which were recognized in local law, carried no stigma, and endured for long periods. It discusses how labour pledged in return for a loan of cash or as a result of a punishment dictated by the state often included sexual labour, and how this could take the form of servicing the master of the house, his guests, or foreign travellers, who paid the debt-holder for the privilege, and how even wives of different ranks, temporary or permanent, and children, were pledged as sureties for loans. The book, which covers the modern states of Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, argues that cultural norms are not static, that sexual contracts are more complicated than simply ‘marriage’ or ‘prostitution’, and that as trafficking for sexual purposes increases, those engaging in humanitarian intervention should improve their knowledge of the historical underpinnings of cultural understandings of familial and contractual obligations.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Sexual Contracts

2. Presumptive Permanence

3. “Other” Women

4. Slavery and Sexual Labour

5. Diligent Daughters

6. Geographies of Desire, Duty and Debt

Conclusion

About the Author

Trude Jacobsen is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA.

About the Series

ASAA Women in Asia Series

The primary aim of this important series is to publish original, high quality work on all aspects of women in Asia. Submissions are welcomed from prospective authors, both new and established scholars, working in any appropriate discipline, and should in the first instance be sent to the series editor. Email: louise.edwards@unsw.edu.au

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC008000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General