1st Edition

Towards a Southern Approach to Sex Work Lived Experience and Resilience in a Bangladeshi Brothel

By Habiba Sultana Copyright 2021
    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book delves into this almost unchartered territory, documenting the lived experiences of sex workers in Bangladesh, considering the complex realities of their day-to-day lives and the ways they negotiate their working conditions and relationships. Despite being the most common form of female deviance and criminality globally, we know very little about sex work in Asia and the global south. Drawing on feminist frameworks, it shows that the experiences of sex workers vary widely depending on the ways they enter the sex trade, their modes of operation, and relationships with significant others.

    Towards a Southern Approach to Sex Work contributes to feminist scholarship on sex work, by offering a much needed southern perspective, drawing on culturally specific data. It argues that the lived experience of sex workers comprises both victimhood and agency, deception and resilience, and that it is the management of these relationships that enable sex works to avoid social marginalization and alienation.

    An accessible and compelling read, this will appeal to students and scholars of criminology, sociology, gender studies, south Asian studies, cultural studies, social theory and policy makers. In addition, it will engage all those interested in learning more about how the sex trade operates in Bangladesh.

      1 Introduction 1

      2 Status of women and sex workers in Bangladesh 18

      3 Feminism and sex work 30

      4 Global sex work: The North and the South 53

      5 Entry and modes of sex work 72

      6 Work and pleasure 94

      7 Mothers and daughters 113

      8 Risk and violence 127

      9 Conclusion 142


      Habiba Sultana is Associate Professor at Jagannath University, Bangladesh, where she has been teaching since 2009. Her research focuses on sex work, HIV, AIDS, Sustainable Development, Injecting Drug Use, Caste, Social Stratification and Globalization. Sultana holds a PhD from the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and a Master in Public Policy degree from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She has published articles on the subject of sex work, HIV and caste system in Bangladesh.