chapter  6
25 Pages

Economic Impingement: Discourses of Reciprocity, Exchange and Friendship

ByAngie Hart

In this chapter, the author focuses on the way in which economics impinges on client-prostitution relationships and considers her status as an anthropologist in the barrio investigating such relationships. She is concerned with examining specific economic exchanges between buyers and sellers. The author illustrates that her own actions as a researcher in the barrio were tied up with concepts of reciprocity and exchange - concepts central to anthropological discourses on economics. The outcome of a financial exchange might vary considerably depending on who was in a position to dictate price. The author explains that the rhetoric of friendship was used considerably in price negotiation, both by clients and by sex workers. The notion of friendship was used by both clients and sex workers to manipulate the mariner in which they were to be treated with regard to buying sex.