By Kimberly Kay Hoang
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Extra info for Dealing in desire : Asian ascendancy, Western decline, and the hidden currencies of global sex work
The three other niche markets inflate the diminishing egos of Viet Kieus, Western businessmen, and Western budget travelers as sex workers help attract overseas remittance money into the local economy. Taken together, the niche markets that cater to local Vietnamese businessmen, Viet Kieus, Western businessmen, and Western budget travelers highlight how the commodification of sexual labor can have multiple and varied effects as male clients and female sex workers negotiate their changing status—either by embracing the shifts in global capital flows that bolstered Asia’s ascendancy or by reproducing old regimes of global power that hinge on Western dominance.
20 | Introduction MY DEALINGS WITH DESIRE As a young graduate student looking to study globalization and gender, I was told by several senior sociologists not to study Vietnam. ” As an Asian American woman in the academy, I have often felt like a triple minority: first as a woman, then as a Vietnamese American, and lastly as someone who has chosen to study men and women in Vietnam’s sex industry. My beloved advisor Raka Ray once told me that every time I presented my work, I needed to make sure to desexualize my own body with suits or dresses that covered most of my skin.
In fact, this is not a book about sex or sexual relations; rather, men’s and women’s participation in HCMC’s sex industry involves much more than the purchase of sex. Men purchase status and dignity as they work to protect their precarious—whether ascendant or declining—positions in the global order. As male clients and female sex workers interact, they reproduce hierarchies of desire and desirability in the mundane discourses and practices that construct new hierarchies in everyday life. As I moved through the field site, I always knew that I could hit the eject button at any moment and put an end to my research.
Dealing in desire : Asian ascendancy, Western decline, and the hidden currencies of global sex work by Kimberly Kay Hoang