Silence, mobility and ‘national values’: South Korean sex workers in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sexualities, 2016, 19 (4), pp. 432 - 448
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© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016. Korean women sex workers have attracted attention from Australian border security, South Korean government officials and Korean-Australian communities. This article considers how the bodies of these women have become the ‘iconic sites’ (Luibhéid, 2002: ix–xxvii) on which the South Korean government and immigrant Korean-Australian communities perform ‘national values’. Within Korean-Australian communities, Korean sex workers have been perceived as threats to the immigrant project of socio-economic mobility and ‘legitimate’ citizenship. We consider the silence that is desired of sex workers within immigrant communities and how this can be co-opted by anti-trafficking discourses that are still predicated on the helpless, voiceless female victim.
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