Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City

ISBN : 9780190249267

Christine B. N. Chin
256 Pages
178 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2015
Send mail

Cosmopolitan Sex Workers is a groundbreaking look into the phenomenon of non-trafficked women who migrate from one global city to another to perform paid sexual labor in Southeast Asia. Through a new, innovative framework, Christine B.N. Chin shows that as neoliberal economic restructuring processes create pathways connecting major cities throughout the world, competition and collaboration between cities creates new avenues for the movement of people, services and goods. Loosely organized networks of migrant labor grow in tandem with professional-managerial classes, and sex workers migrate to different parts of cities, depending on the location of the clientele to which they cater. But while global cities create economic opportunities for migrants (and depend on the labor they provide), states react with new forms of securitization and surveillance. As a result, migrants must negotiate between appropriating and subverting the ideas that inform global economic restructuring. Chin argues that migration allows women to develop intercultural skills that help them to make these negotiations. Cosmopolitan Sex Workers is innovative not only in its focus on non-trafficked women, but in its analysis of the complex relationship between global economic processes and migration for sex work. Through fascinating interviews with sex workers in Kuala Lumpur, Chin shows that sex work can provide women with the means of earning income for families, for education, and even for their own businesses. It also allows women the means to travel the world - a form of cosmopolitanism "from below."


List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter 1. Kaleidoscope of City, Creativity and Cosmopolitanism
Chapter 2. Making of a 'World Class City': The State and Transnational Migrant Labor
Chapter 3. Re-establishing Internal Borders of the Nation: Creatively Repressive State Strategies
Chapter 4. "What is wrong with being a 'Miss'?": Transnational Migrant Women and Sex Work in the 21st Century
Chapter 5. "We Sell Services, We Do Not Sell People": Case Study of 'Syndicate X' in KL
Chapter 6. Knowing and Living in KL's Contact Zones: Gendered and Racialized Cosmopolites
Chapter 7. Conclusion

About the author: 

Christine B. N. Chin is Associate Professor of International Relations in the School of International Service at American University. She is the author of In Service and Servitude: Foreign Female Domestic Workers and the Malaysian Modernity Project and Cruising in the Global Economy: Profits, Pleasure and Work at Sea.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.