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Odzer, Cleo Ph.D. Dissertation: Title Page + Abstract

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  • curtisdesign
    Patpong Prostitution Its Relationship to, and Effect on, The Position of Women in Thai Society by Cleo Odzer April 1990 Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 21, 2008
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      Patpong Prostitution
      Its Relationship to, and Effect on,
      The Position of Women in Thai Society

      by
      Cleo Odzer

      April 1990

      Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social
      Science of the New School for Social Research in partial
      fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor
      of Philosophy.

      Dissertation Committee:
      Dr. Rayna Rapp
      Dr. Shirley Lindenbaum
      Dr. William Roseberry


      Abstract

      The dissertation investigates gender relations in Thailand and focuses on a "red-light" district in Bangkok known as
      Patpong to determine the impact of prostitution on the position of women in Thai society. Traditional Thai culture views
      women as "the hind legs of the elephant" and grants them less rights and opportunities than men. The sexual service industry
      provides women with a higher income than would otherwise be available; it offers them chances for independence; and
      presents them with alternatives to marriage, an institution which legally deprives them of rights belonging to single women. My
      original hypothesis stated that, in view of the growth of the sexual service industry in Thailand during the past two decades,
      women's status should have been positively affected.
      Part One presents background information and a review of the literature. After an introductory chapter, Chapter Two
      discusses women in Thailand, their position in society and their expected roles and life options. A chapter covering general
      theories on prostitution is then followed by an examination of prostitution in Thailand including a report on the economic
      situation of the country. The end of Part One describes Patpong, its history and growth, and its present-day manner of
      operation.
      Part Two presents case studies of people involved in the sex industry. Nine people are introduced to highlight and
      illustrate the Patpong way of life: five prostitutes, two clients, a pimp and a bar owner. Chapter Ten portrays eight more
      people in order to accent relevant facts and bring out [unintelligible] phenomena: four more prostitutes, another bar owner, a
      Western woman, the head of a woman's organization, and a money lender.
      The last chapter analyses the data. The hypothesis is disproved due to the power of stigma and the fact that ideas
      concerning women's equality are slow to take root in the country. Because the right to promiscuous sexuality is granted to
      men but withheld from women, Thai culture clings to notions of "good" and "bad" women, which results in prostitutes and ex-
      prostitutes going to great lengths— when away from the job— to give evidence of fitting a "good girl" image.
      The practical significance of the dissertation is to clarify and emphasize the relationship of prostitution to the position of
      women in Thai society. Enforcing existing laws or legalizing the profession will do little to change the fact of prostitution itself.
      Until women have the same recognized rights as men, including the right to sexuality, commercial sex will continue to exist
      and uphold the present inequality.

      * * * *

      NOTE: Any typographical errors are the result of Optical Character Recognition software
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