Shanghai's nightlife, from the mid-nineteenth century until the victory of the Communist Party in 1949, was dominated by the world of prostitution. Henriot portrays the Chinese sex trade, from the sophisticated life of the courtesan to the common life of street prostitution. He examines the extent to which these worlds were integral to Chinese social life, commercial trends, and Chinese mores and sexuality. Henriot draws a picture of a sector that was sensitive to economic and social change, and thus a good reflection of Shanghai's changing social structure, societal attitudes, and commercial development. This is the most comprehensive treatment available of a social phenomenon that has been much discussed in studies of Chinese culture, but largely neglected as a subject of serious historical concern. At the crossroads of social and intellectual history, this study gets beyond the curtain of exoticism for a realistic look at a vibrant sector of Shanghai's economic and cultural life.
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(228mm x 152mm x 32mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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