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Paradoxes of gendering strategy in prostitution policies: South Korea's “toleration-regulation regime,” 1961–1979

Authors
Journal
Women s Studies International Forum
0277-5395
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
37
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.wsif.2012.10.008

Abstract

Synopsis This paper investigates prostitution policies in South Korea during the Park Chung-Hee (Pak Chŏnghŭi) regime which ruled from 1961 to 1979. I introduce the concept of the “toleration-regulation regime” to characterize those policies which combined prohibition and regulation. I show how the Park regime's prostitution policies functioned as a gendering strategy that produced sexual/gendered subject-positions, relegating the subject-position of prostitutes to a “substratum” that produced and supported the gender hierarchy within the Korean national community. In conclusion, the prostitution policies of the Park regime functioned as a matrix that established the boundaries of the “virtuous community” by building sexual and civil hierarchies between men and women as well as between “chaste” and “fallen” women.

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