Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and by Kimberly Kay Hoang

By Kimberly Kay Hoang

This desirable ethnography explores Vietnam’s intercourse because the state ascends the worldwide and neighborhood degree. Over the process 5 years, writer Kimberly Kay Hoang labored at 4 unique Saigon hostess bars catering to various consumers: filthy rich neighborhood Vietnamese and Asian businessmen, Viet Kieus (ethnic Vietnamese dwelling abroad), Western businessmen, and Western budget-tourists. Dealing in Desire takes an in-depth and infrequently own examine either the intercourse employees and their consumers to teach how Vietnamese excessive finance and benevolent giving are hooked up to the intimate spheres of the casual financial system. For the family super-elite who use the levers of political energy to channel overseas capital into genuine property and production tasks, conspicuous intake is a way of projecting a picture of Asian ascendancy to strength traders. For Viet Kieus and Westerners who carry remittances into the neighborhood economic system, own relationships with neighborhood intercourse staff toughen their rules of Asia’s upward thrust and Western decline, whereas concurrently bolstering their lowered masculinity. Dealing in Desire illuminates Ho Chi Minh City’s intercourse as not only a microcosm of the worldwide economic system, yet a severe house the place desires and offers are traded.

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Extra resources for Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work

Example text

After nine months of this work, which required me to drink alcohol nightly with customers, I decided to scale back. In Naughty Girls, the lowest-status bar, I conducted three to four days of fieldwork each week as an observer rather than as a worker. In all four bars, the first two weeks were dedicated to learning the culture and unspoken rules of each space, the names of my coworkers and regular clients, and recording copious field notes every night. Once I became a fixture in each bar, I began to systematically conduct informal interviews with my research participants.

In short, the historical tensions between Westerners, Viet Kieus, and local Vietnamese elites matter because their relationships are fraught with histories of sexual domination, not merely of sex workers, but also of other men and other nations. The historical context provides a backdrop for the contemporary stratification of HCMC’s sex industry through an exploration of geopolitical and economic power relations. S. dominance (from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s) to Asian ascendancy in a neoliberal, globalized marketplace.

Chapter 2 provides a much more detailed description of the four bars where I conducted research, Introduction | 19 and I reflect on my research methods in depth in the methodological appendix. Between 2006 and 2007, I interviewed 56 sex workers and 27 clients. Later, in 2009–2010, I interviewed 90 clients, 90 sex workers, 8 mommies, and 5 bar owners evenly distributed across four niche markets of HCMC’s sex industry. In total, this book is based on participant observation and in-depth and semistructured interviews with 276 individuals in Vietnam between 2006 and 2010.

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