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Synopsis

How should issues of sexuality and power in China be interpreted? Are China scholars really able to translate linguistically and culturally the 'truth' of China? And to what extent do fieldwork and interviews locate a study in the 'real life' of a country and its people?
This book is a topical and important critique of recent scholarship in China studies, Feminist studies and social theory. By examining recent literature on sexuality, power and prostitution, this book engages with contemporary debates concerning the application of mainstream theories in contexts other than those in which they were originally formulated. Beginning controversially with a critique of China scholarship since the Cold War, the text moves on to an examination of recent writing on sexuality in China. Through an analysis of government control and policing of prostitution the work highlights the unproductive nature of feminist debates over the most favorable responses to prostitution. It suggests that the very diversity of prostitution businesses and practices that exist in present day China show that it is not possible to characterize 'sex work' as a target for governmental intervention.

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