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Durham e-Theses
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Symbolic Violence, the Sale of Sex
and Sex Trafficking in Hong Kong

NG, ANGIE (2016) Symbolic Violence, the Sale of Sex
and Sex Trafficking in Hong Kong.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


Hong Kong is a highly developed, neoliberal and post-British-colonial region. It has
a history of being a trafficking hub for both opium and humans, which includes the
enslavement of girls and women for sexual exploitation. The aim of this thesis is to
use a Feminist, Bourdieusian framework to explore the local environment, the
experiences of women selling sex, and the relationship between the two, in order to
explain the persistence of control of women by third parties in the sale of sex in
Hong Kong. The research can be described as pragmatic, utilising a predominantly
qualitative, mixed-methods approach to answer the research questions, within the
aforementioned framework. This approach includes the life ‘herstories’ of eight
women who are legal residents of Hong Kong and involved in the sale of sex, in
order to allow for deeper exploration of their feelings and experiences; expert
interviews with five community workers from different NGOs to share their
knowledge from the ground; participant observation from volunteering with a civil
society group and living in Hong Kong to explore the local environment; qualitative
content analysis of six Hong Kong newspapers; and a survey with 189 respondents
on social attitudes. Findings suggest that control persists, and it does so because
the political and business elite are maximising their interests, via inaction, in terms of
structural challenges and symbolic violence against women. This suggests that
symbolic struggle and collective action are needed to change social attitudes and
press the government of the Hong Kong SAR for social and political change.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:sex trafficking, sale of sex, Hong Kong, symbolic violence
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Apr 2016 10:00

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