Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rubie Watson and Patricia Buckley Ebrey

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780520069305

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520069305.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use (for details see http://california.universitypressscholarship.com/page/535/privacy-policy-and-legal-notice).date: 23 October 2017

Prostitution and the Market in Women in Early Twentieth-Century Shanghai

Prostitution and the Market in Women in Early Twentieth-Century Shanghai

Chapter:
(p.256) Eight Prostitution and the Market in Women in Early Twentieth-Century Shanghai
Source:
Marriage and Inequality in Chinese Society
Author(s):

Gail Hershatter

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520069305.003.0009

This chapter discusses the living and working conditions of prostitutes in early twentieth-century Shanghai. It begins with a description of the complex class structure of prostitution and a rough estimate of the numbers of women involved, and then explores common elements in the family background and personal history of prostitutes in addition to the financial arrangements by which a woman entered a brothel. The chapter examines the brothel as a social world with its own rules, codes, and risks, and also asks how a prostitute's working life mimicked the rituals of courtship and marriage (with respect to customers) and family life (with respect to madams). Finally, it considers the “career path” of prostitutes, particularly the exit into marriage or concubinage. How permeable was the boundary around prostitution, by whom could it be crossed, and under what circumstances? The chapter concludes with some observations about the Shanghai market in women.

Keywords:   China, prostitutes, prostitution, brothel, working life

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.