Start reading Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available
 

Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China [Kindle Edition]

Tiantian Zheng
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $22.50 What's this?
Print List Price: $22.50
Kindle Price: $12.49
You Save: $10.01 (44%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 76%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $12.49  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $16.76  
Unknown Binding --  
"Trust Betrayed: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Selling Out of America's National Security"
For eight years, ex-Navy SEAL sniper Scott Taylor served his country in the same region of Iraq as American Sniper author Chris Kyle. After he was injured during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Taylor came home--and discovered the Obama administration was leaking sensitive intelligence information for political gain. Find out more

Book Description

In China today, sex work cannot be untangled from the phenomenon of rural-urban migration, the entertainment industry, and state power. In Red Lights, Tiantian Zheng highlights the urban karaoke bar as the locus at which these three factors intersect and provides a rich account of the lives of karaoke hostesses—a career whose name disguises the sex work and minimizes the surprising influence these women often have as power brokers.

Zheng embarked on two years of intensely embedded ethnographic fieldwork in her birthplace, Dalian, a large northeastern Chinese seaport of over six million people. During this time, Zheng lived and worked with a group of hostesses in a karaoke bar, facing many of the same dangers that they did and forming strong, intimate bonds with them. The result is an especially engaging, moving story of young, rural women struggling to find meaning, develop a modern and autonomous identity, and, ultimately, survive within an oppressively patriarchal state system.

Moving from her case studies to broader theories of sex, gender, and power, Zheng connects a growth in capitalist entrepreneurialism to the emergence of an urban sex industry, brilliantly illuminating the ways in which hostesses, their clients, and the state are mutually created in postsocialist China. 


Editorial Reviews

Book Description

In China today, sex work cannot be untangled from the phenomenon of rural-urban migration, the entertainment industry, and state power. In Red Lights, Tiantian Zheng highlights the urban karaoke bar as the locus at which these three factors intersect and provides a rich account of the lives of karaoke hostesses—a career whose name disguises the sex work and minimizes the surprising influence these women often have as power brokers.

Zheng embarked on two years of intensely embedded ethnographic fieldwork in her birthplace, Dalian, a large northeastern Chinese seaport of over six million people. During this time, Zheng lived and worked with a group of hostesses in a karaoke bar, facing many of the same dangers that they did and forming strong, intimate bonds with them. The result is an especially engaging, moving story of young, rural women struggling to find meaning, develop a modern and autonomous identity, and, ultimately, survive within an oppressively patriarchal state system.

Moving from her case studies to broader theories of sex, gender, and power, Zheng connects a growth in capitalist entrepreneurialism to the emergence of an urban sex industry, brilliantly illuminating the ways in which hostesses, their clients, and the state are mutually created in postsocialist China.

About the Author

Tiantian Zheng is associate professor of anthropology at the State University of New York, Cortland.

Product Details

  • File Size: 630 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press (March 23, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043M4JL2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,918 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
(4)
5.0 out of 5 stars
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is an anthropological inquiry into a group of marginalized people in Northern China. These marginalized people are karaoke bar hostesses who have struggled to survive in an unfavorable institutional environment and dominant patriarchal social culture. The author adopts participant observation as a research instrument to collect in-depth data from three karaoke bars in Dalian. Research participants in this ethnographic study include a group of hostesses and their next of kin, clients (government officials and entrepreneurs), and karaoke bar owners so that a solid theoretical foundation can be built to understand sex workers in this booming economic city.

According to the author, hostesses are derivatives of state-clientelism and traditional patriarchal culture. Entrepreneurs rely on discretionary favoritism of government officials for permit procurement and resource allocation and accordingly karaoke bars become a common platform to corrupt interest-seeking behavior of government officials. More aggravating to tell is that entrepreneurs and government officials exploit hostesses to display their masculine power and sex consumption is considered the "embrace of a western-oriented model of modernity" (P.106). The essentialist view of subservience of woman to man in post-socialist China allows social status of hostesses to deteriorate.

Hostesses in Dalian have homogenous and heterogenous traits as compared with their western counterparts. They are homogenous in terms of conspicuous consumption practices and commodification of their bodies. Hostesses spent substantial amount of their income in body refashioning and ornamentation to "avoid tuqi (backward look), strive for yangqi (foreign style)" (P.186).
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars correction... April 13, 2012
Format:Paperback
I have no idea why this book would be in the "Gay and Lesbian - History" section. None at all. Like the earlier review said, it's an anthropological case study. Sooo... Yeah...
Was this review helpful to you?
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow. December 20, 2013
By laurie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is tremendous. It is a wonderful resource for researchers but also an amazing insight into human psychology. I recommend it to anyone interested in the effects of capitalism on vulnerable populations.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They lied to men resercher but not to her December 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Awesome. Sex workers always lie to male researchers which keeps the myths alive as fact. Ms. Zheng is the 1st Chinese female antrhopolgist in China. I'm unhappy that Ms. Zheng wrote about the well established facts were myths or facbrications as tools and techniques to make the work easier and to increase their tip, All those Chinese esperts must be furious that they had been scamed. And those furious clients, Chinese tricks are physically abusive to begin with. Hopefully, they're too busy being corrupt at work and play to read.

It's amazing how their social structure and interaction with each other is practically identical to USA on the street to upscale clubs.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category