A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Jawad Syed
Chapter 14: State Management of the Sex Industry in China’s Past and Present
Tiantian Zheng Introduction The issue of gender and diversity management is a contentious and underexplored one. In this book, many authors successfully delve into this issue from different perspectives in diverse regions. In particular, Syed (ch. 12) discusses gender empowerment and diversity management in Muslim majority countries, and Metcalfe (ch. 9) examines the correlation between women diversity and management in the Middle East. Elsewhere, Rowley et al. (ch. 11) investigate the relationships between female managers and diversity management in Asia, and Nolan (ch. 10) scrutinizes the intersection between gender and the labor market in China. Along a similar line of analytical inquiry, this chapter focuses on a different aspect of gender and diversity management in China. In particular, it explores the issue of diverse management and the sex industry. I argue that, although prostitution is not unique, in China, the ways in which it intertwines with state power, rural–urban migration and the entertainment industry are unique. Literature review Researchers on diversity management and sex work have demonstrated the futility of abolitionist systems and the harm done through regulation (Chapkis, 1997; Renaud, 1997; Kempadoo and Doezema, 1998; Ehrenreich and Hochschild, 2002). Abolitionism, as researchers argue, denies the possibility that women have willingly chosen sex work, and hence categorizes sex workers as victims of trafficking and coercion. Demonizing, criminalizing and isolating prostitutes, abolitionism is believed to constitute the prime factor in perpetuating violence against sex workers as it pushes them to be completely dependent upon others such as pimps, procurers and...
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