Cleo Odzer, a young American anthropologist, spent three years studying Bangkok's red-light district, Patpong, an area of a few blocks teeming with bars and explicit sex shows. Patpong is now world famous for its available and extremely attractive young women and men, who cater mainly to "farangs" (foreigners), most of them men but some women, who ...
Cleo Odzer, a young American anthropologist, spent three years studying Bangkok's red-light district, Patpong, an area of a few blocks teeming with bars and explicit sex shows. Patpong is now world famous for its available and extremely attractive young women and men, who cater mainly to "farangs" (foreigners), most of them men but some women, who come from Europe, Australia, America, and Japan. Odzer got to know the bar girls, the bar boys, and their varied entourages. She gained their confidence, interviewed them at length, lived among them, and accompanied some of them home to visit their families--whom they often supported--in the isolated countryside, where they were idolized. She also got to know their customers, usually men who had traveled for thousands of miles to immerse themselves in the sensual world of Patpong--some of them falling in love with, even marrying, their newfound Thai companions. At times, these liaisons, complicated by language and cultural barriers, are truly hilarious, but they can also be poignant, touching on the tragic. Odzer concludes that some of the Patpong people, far from being downtrodden and exploited, reveal themselves to be quick, intelligent, and highly entrepreneurial. With a warm and personal point of view, "Patpong Sisters" shows how this Bangkok economy of sex works.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-10-17 As an anthropology graduate student, Odzer was in Thailand in 1988-90 studying its prostitution industry, centered in the Patpong district of Bangkok. Because of the culture's particularly repressive views of women's rights and female sexuality, according to the author, prostitution thrives, attracting many foreign male tourists. Studies estimate that between 15 and 30% of Thai women work in the sex industry, and Odzer's goal was to assess the impact of such a career on their lives. She discovered that, while prostitution is in many respects demeaning, its practitioners are nevertheless more ``liberated'' and more self-assertive than more traditional Thai women. The book is shorter on analysis than on narrative accounts of Odzer's interaction with various Patpong women and men, which, while lacking the academic rigor she initially promises, are engrossing. At times tales of her own romantic adventures all but subsume discussion of her research project. Illustrations. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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