9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN33 Women's and Gender Studies

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Trafficking and Gender Building II, C4.02

Hidden Prostitution: Tendencies, Subcultures, Cultural Mobility

Hidden Prostitution: Tendencies, Subcultures, Cultural Mobility

The paper examines the so-called hidden prostitution.
Usually, hidden prostitution is the prostitution of somebody who receives at home through ads, or picks up customers in nightclubs, bars, saunas, beauty centers, etc. In the present work I use the term hidden prostitution with a broader meaning, including in it another form of prostitution: male prostitution in parks, public toilets, car parking, etc.
The main hypotheses of the paper are: a) there are specific subcultures within the phenomenon of prostitution, b) the phenomenon of prostitution is developing on the basis of two main trends: invisibility and impersonality of sexual acts; c) the subculture of prostitution has important connections and elements of integration into the dominant culture.
Based on the results of an ethnographic research (October 2003 - March 2005, with returns on the field in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) that I conducted in Italy, I describe the phenomenon highlighting certain aspects: roles and organizational structures, relational dynamics, emotional labour, prostitute/client interactions, communication codes, gender differences.
The picture that emerges is a complex and varied phenomenon which quickly transforms and adapts itself to market needs maintaining, however, a clear cultural horizon of reference.