Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/235702
Title: RAIDS AND RESISTANCE: PROSTITUTION IN THE POST-WAR COLONIAL ABOLITIONIST REGIME, 1945-59
Authors: THO JIA YI
Keywords: Prostitution
Procurers
Brothel Keepers
Colonial Singapore
Agency
Resistance
Situational Agency
Abolitionism
Social History
Gender History
Issue Date: 25-Oct-2022
Citation: THO JIA YI (2022-10-25). RAIDS AND RESISTANCE: PROSTITUTION IN THE POST-WAR COLONIAL ABOLITIONIST REGIME, 1945-59. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis is situated within the literature on the colonial abolitionist regime in Singapore, which refers to the regime after the abolition of brothels in 1930. Thus far, historians writing about this abolitionist regime have played host to two main approaches. The first approach, which focuses on the debates, institutions and legislations that underpinned the abolitionist regime, looks at how prostitutes were ‘subjects’ or ‘victims’ of the abolition policy. The second approach, focusing on the strategies that prostitutes and their procurers employed to navigate abolitionist rule, looks at how prostitutes exercised ‘agency’ against state attempts to control prostitution. This thesis contributes to this rich body of scholarship by suggesting historians to look past the rigid categories of ‘victim’ and ‘agents’ and to instead, to recognize that the experiences of prostitutes were diverse, temporal, and situational. Employing Arunima Datta’s concept of ‘situational agency’, this thesis aims to uncover the social histories of prostitutes within the post-war abolitionist colonial regime. It looks at not just how, but why prostitutes resisted attempts by the colonial authorities to clamp down on brothels. In doing so, I explore the complex relationships that prostitutes had with their keepers and the state, and the political, economic, and gendered hierarchies that underpinned these relationships.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/235702
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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