On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. by Sealing Cheng

By Sealing Cheng

Since the Korean warfare, gijichon—U.S. army camp towns—have been furnishings in South Korea. the most well-liked leisure venues in gijichon are golf equipment, attracting army shoppers with duty-free alcohol, song, exhibits, and girls entertainers. within the Nineties, South Korea's fast fiscal development, mixed with the stigma and occasional pay hooked up to this paintings, ended in a scarcity of Korean ladies keen to serve American infantrymen. membership vendors introduced in affordable hard work, predominantly from the Philippines and ex-Soviet states, to fill the vacancies left via Korean ladies. The expanding presence of international staff has prompted new conversations approximately modernity, nationalism, ethnicity, and human rights in South Korea. overseas NGOs, feminists, and media studies have pointed out girls migrant entertainers as "victims of intercourse trafficking," insisting that their plight is one in every of pressured prostitution.

Are girls who go back and forth to paintings in such golf equipment sufferers of trafficking, intercourse slaves, or just migrant girls? How do those ladies comprehend their very own reviews? Is antitrafficking activism beneficial in holding them? In On the movement for Love, Sealing Cheng makes an attempt to respond to those questions by means of following the lives of migrant Filipina entertainers operating in quite a few gijichon golf equipment. concentrating on their aspirations for romance and a greater destiny, Cheng's ethnography illuminates the complicated relationships those ladies shape with their employers, customer-boyfriends, and households. She bargains an insightful critique of antitrafficking discourses, pointing to the inadequacy of spotting ladies basically as sufferers and ignoring their enterprise and aspirations. Cheng analyzes the women's event in South Korea in terms of their next trips to different international locations, offering a diachronic examine the best way migrant problems with paintings, intercourse, and love healthy in the higher context of transnationalism, identification, and worldwide hierarchies of inequality.

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Additional resources for On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea

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58 Women’s mobility not only challenges their prescribed roles in the domestic realm but also threatens the symbolic investment of hegemonic nationalist discourse and the ideal social order. Women have often been a contested symbol of the nation, in terms of tradition and culture, progress and modernity, and national autonomy and sovereignty. Ethnographers have argued that the explosion of discourses about women’s mobility, with a focus on sexual danger, is indicative of the ambivalence around women’s changing social roles and increased mobility.

67 As in the opening story, in the following pages I try to make explicit my position as interlocutor in the production of narratives in order to allow readers to evaluate how my presence, questions, and responses were always part of interactive processes. In practicing reflexivity as a researcher, I also state my experiences of incomprehension, struggle, and mistakes in the field. Bearing in mind the intersubjective production of identities and interactions, I made a conscious effort to talk not only with Filipinas but also with GIs and Koreans.

How Dominican sex workers’ performance of love with foreign male tourists is a strategy of advancement to pursue opportunities in the transnational social field, often with mixed results but nonetheless highlighting the women’s agency in contesting local and global inequalities. Katherine Frank’s autobiographical ethnography of working as an exotic dancer in gentlemen’s clubs in the United States suggests how men’s visits to these clubs could be considered touristic experiences25 and as a distinct sphere of intimacy embedded in a complex web of commodification, performance, and search for authenticity.

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