AAS 2018 Annual Conference

March 22-25 | Washington, D.C.

Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Deadline for Receipt of All Proposals is August 8, 2017.

Deadline to submit post for this forum is July 31, 2017

The AAS has provided below a forum for individual seeking assistance in connection with submitting a session proposal.

How to use the forum:

If you have a session you would like to propose and need a few more individual to participate - click the Sessions Organizers seeking Participants forum. Next, click 'Add a Topic' or reply to a posted topic

If you are an individual and would like to participate on a session in Washington, D.C. but do not have enough contacts to form a session proposal, click Participants Seeking Sessions. Next, click 'Add a Topic' or reply to a posted topic.

Please make sure to include the following information:

  1. Your name, affiliation and how you would like to be contacted.
  2. The topic of your proposed session or the topic of your paper
  3. The geographic area of study that best represents this topic

Important note for anyone using this forum.  Posting session or paper information here is not a substitution to submitting a formal proposal using the online application form.  It is your responsibility to make sure the organizer of a session receives the information requested and/or your responsibility to ensure the information is submitted in a timely manner.

Transactional Sex among Men in Contemporary China
Last Post 13 Jul 2017 09:58 AM by Yifeng Cai. 0 Replies.
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Yifeng CaiUser is Offline
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13 Jul 2017 09:58 AM
    I am a PhD student in anthropology at Brown University. Currently my projects looks at "transactional sex" among men in contemporary urban China. I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in different field sites such as massage parlors (with "手天使"--masseurs providing sexual services of various sorts), online escorting, bathhouses, and various "Tongzhi" (the Chinese term for gay) venues such as clubs, bars, and circuit parties. My research explores the following questions:

    What is overlooked when transactional sex is primarily conceptualized as “sex work” but not “sex”? In the case of Chinese men who sell sex, how can one move beyond the “victimhood” or “ambitious sex entrepreneur” discourse, and examine intimacy, love, pleasure, and desire within transactional sex? In other words, are these facets of human life strictly circumscribed within non-transactional, “romantic,” sexual encounters, or can one challenge this inherently heteronormative and moralistic understanding, and reconsider what constitutes intimacy, pleasure, love, and desire in these moments of “exchange” and “transaction”? Moreover, what is being exchanged other than money and sexual service in transactional sex, and what role do “exchange” and “transaction” play in building and sustaining social relations and human relatedness? Last but not least, what can we learn about "sex" itself, which is present in almost every facet of my fieldwork. Indeed, not just masseurs or "Money Boys" (the Chinese local term for men who primarily provide sexual service in the form of intercourse) use sex as a transaction. Club/bar/bathhouses, online dating apps, even NGOs, all "sell" sex in different ways to survive or make profits. How do China’s historical, political, economic, and cultural conditions complicate all these questions?

    For those who will be interested in including any specific topics of my research in their panel, please see below for my contact informations:

    Yifeng Cai
    PhD student in socio-cultural/medical anthropology, Brown University
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