chapter  8
25 Pages

Gender, Power and Prostitution in the Barrio

WithAngie Hart

In this chapter, the author shows the reader some of the somewhat unconventional ways in which she had come to think about gender, power and prostitution in the barrio. Feminist anthropologists have become increasingly interested in gendered power relations. The author suggests that most of the empirical work on gender done by anthropologists has been about women. Economics is often an important dimension in discussions of gendered power, which indeed, often implicitly accept that economics is a crucial aspect of this power. Whilst theoretical issues concerning the nature of power have been sorely lacking in texts on prostitution, theories of 'power' hold privileged positions in sociological research and are often seen as central to discussions of social relations. Theories of power that have evolved in the Weberian tradition see relations of power simply as hierarchical structures. Thus the age, economic and employment situation, as well as physical looks and 'sexual performance', certainly informed clients' experiences of prostitution.