Modern Babylon?: Prostituting Children in Thailand

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Overview

Child prostitution became one of the key concerns of the international community in the 1990s. World congresses were held, international and national laws were changed and concern over "cemmercially sexually exploited children" rose dramatically. Rarely, however, were the children who worked as prostitutes consulted of questioned in this process, and the voices of these children brought into focus. This book is the first to address the children directly, to examine their daily lives, their motivations and their perceptions of what they do. Based on 15 months of fieldwork in a Thai tourist community that survived through child prostitution, this book draws on anthropological theories on childhood and kinship to contextualize the experiences of this group of Thai child prostitutes and to contrast these with the stereotypes held of them by those outside their community.

Heather Montgomery is a member of the Fertility and Reproduction Studies Group and a British Academy Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford. She has recently been appointed Lecturer in Child Studies at the Open University.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Montgomery presents an account of child prostitution in Thailand that focuses on the daily lives of prostituted children, their motivations, and their perceptions of what they do. The study is based upon 15 months of fieldwork in a Thai tourist community with a prostitution based economy. Montgomery is with the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the U. of Oxford. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571813183
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2001
  • Series: Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality Ser.
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1 History and Context
Myths and Stereotypes 21
NGOs and the Discovery of Child Prostitution 29
The Extent of the Problem 33
History and Myth 40
2 Cultural Constructions of Childhood
A History of Childhood in the West 53
Childhood in Thailand 57
What Constitutes a Good Childhood? 62
Childhood and State Intervention 66
3 The Child Prostitutes of Baan Nua
Data Collection 69
Child Prostitution in Baan Nua 76
Kinship and Reciprocity 82
Reciprocity, Friends and Clients 86
4 Struggles and Contradictions
Children as Social Agents 89
Prostitution and its Alternatives 95
The Life-Cycle of Prostitution 102
5 Identity and its Difficulties
Status 107
Sexuality and Identity 111
Gender, Prostitution and Identity 123
Social Identity 128
6 Protecting Innocence
Innocence and Freedom 133
Buying Innocence 139
Maintaining Innocence 144
7 Conclusion 155
Bibliography 175
Index 189
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