By Kimberly Kay Hoang
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Additional info for Dealing in desire : Asian ascendancy, Western decline, and the hidden currencies of global sex work
While this political triumph created independence, it did not deliver economic prosperity. The nation remained poor and underdeveloped in comparison to Western countries and other industrializing Asian economies. In 1986, after a decade of lagging productivity and rapid inflation in the context of communist reform and other worldwide transformations (glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union and the Deng Xiaoping reforms in China), Vietnam introduced the Doi Moi program of economic liberalization, which effectively transitioned Vietnam into a socialist-oriented market economy in which the Communist Party maintained a political monopoly.
Letting go of all the markers of respectability that I had acquired in the United States as a highly educated woman from prestigious universities, I engaged in a deeply embodied ethnography that transformed who I was. This external shift humbled me, brought me both great pain and great joy, and ultimately became the catalyst for an internal shift that altered the narrative of my research. The stories of the men and women I interviewed cast a new light on the sex industry and provided me with a deep sense of respect for the men and women whose honesty and friendship led to my greater understanding of the coconstitutive relationship between gender and global capital flows.
36 However, I take this analysis one step further by illuminating a simultaneous process wherein local Vietnamese elites and Viet Kieus articulate their desire to imagine a new global order that no longer privileges a white, First World masculinity. These men construct competing notions of an international hegemonic masculinity that contests Western superiority in the Asia-Pacific region 16 | Introduction using personal wealth and Vietnam’s access to Asian FDI as an indicator of national dominance.
Dealing in desire : Asian ascendancy, Western decline, and the hidden currencies of global sex work by Kimberly Kay Hoang