Governing buyers of sex in the People's Republic of China

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Economy and Society, 2006, 35 (4), pp. 571 - 593
Issue Date:
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This paper examines the developing body of Chinese prostitution law, and the nature of its implementation, with reference to mainstream media controversy surrounding the case of a male academic penalized as a buyer of commercial sexual services in late 2004. It argues that the protagonist's highly public 'fall from grace' may owe more to the Chinese media's new capacity to act as part of a disciplinary apparatus that extends beyond the purview of the Party-state -via its claim to promote freedom of information -than the presumed repressive ethos of the Chinese Communist Party.
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