Date

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Adviser

Ceron-Anaya, Hugo

Other advisers/committee members

Tannenbaum, Nicola; Krasas, Jackie

Abstract

This is an exploratory, ethnographic study of female sex workers in Yangon, Myanmar. I show that neither the victimization nor empowerment discourses are sufficient to analyze situations of female sex workers in Yangon, Myanmar. There are two parts in my argument. First, I provide vignettes of sex establishments and different ways of organizing sex work. Then I discuss the influence of establishments, at institutional level, on how the female sex workers perceive their work places, and how the women present their bodies. Secondly, I underscore the main reasons why the women engage in sex work, and how they intertwined with other contributing factors such as filial obligations, limited opportunities for decent paying jobs, and limited educational attainment. I also discuss the variance of risk perception among the women. I concluded the paper with some reflection on strengths and limitations of the study and recommendations for future studies.

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