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Cosmopolitan Sex WorkersWomen and Migration in a Global City$
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Christine B.N. Chin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890910.001.0001

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Knowing and Living in KL’s Contact Zones

Knowing and Living in KL’s Contact Zones

Gendered, Racialized, and Classed Cosmopolites

(p.146) Chapter 6 Knowing and Living in KL’s Contact Zones
Cosmopolitan Sex Workers

Christine B. N. Chin

Oxford University Press

Chapter Six discusses migrant women’s and syndicate members’ encounters in KL’s contact zones. The analysis begins with migrant women sex workers’ experiences living and working in urban spaces that, at the outset, are multiracial and multicultural but upon closer examination such spaces are claimed by residents from specific intersections of class, race-ethnicity, and nationality. The focus then shifts to syndicate members, especially men who provide support services to the migrant women. Significantly, and despite the centrality on earning income, migrant women’s and syndicate men’s encounters are not entirely utilitarian based. From views on humanity to acts of reciprocity, they genuinely desire to know and appreciate alternative ways of living, being and doing by people born and raised in communities other than their own. Still, some endorse deprecating stereotypes premised particularly on gender and/or racial-cultural superiority. In KL’s stratified contact zones, migrant women and syndicate men evince emerging cosmopolitan subjectivities, and paradoxically affirm colonial-like ascriptions and ensuing worldviews and treatments of the Other.

Keywords:   Cosmopolite, Cosmopolitan, Colonial ascription, Contact zone, The ‘Other’, Racial-Cultural superiority, Subjectivity, Utilitarianism, Humanity, Reciprocity

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