English Issue > 2011

An Annual English Selection - 2011 - 52 - Supplement

Sex and Emotion-Based Relations as a Resource in Migration :
Northern Chinese Women in Paris

Florence LÉVY
Marylène LIEBER



pp. 3-28


Faced with scarce employment opportunities in Paris, a number of the women who migrate from northern China to earn money and counter the effects of a status fall in their native country start looking for alternative solutions. Some turn to prostitution, while others try to find a Chinese intimate partner or a French husband. The article discusses the strategies open to these women for ccomplishing the goals they set for themselves in migrating. It examines a heterogeneous set of sexual-economic exchanges that reveal the porosity of the boundary between prostitution and other intimate relationships and suggest that marriage and prostitution may be seen as the endpoints of a continuum, two different ways of making a sexual-economic "arrangement.” In the precarious socio-economic situation these women
migrants find themselves in once in Paris, sex and emotion-based relations become a genuine resource.



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