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Tourist Attractions: Performing Race and Masculinity in Brazil's Sexual Economy (Paperback)
  • Tourist Attractions: Performing Race and Masculinity in Brazil's Sexual Economy (Paperback)
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Tourist Attractions: Performing Race and Masculinity in Brazil's Sexual Economy (Paperback)

(author)
£24.00
Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 15/12/2015
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While much attention has been paid in recent years to heterosexual prostitution and sex tourism in Brazil, gay sex tourism has been almost completely overlooked. In Tourist Attractions, Gregory C. Mitchell presents a pioneering ethnography that focuses on the personal lives and identities of male sex workers who occupy a variety of roles in Brazil's sexual economy. Mitchell takes us into the bath houses of Rio de Janeiro, where rent boys cruise for clients, and to the beaches of Salvador da Bahia, where African American gay men seek out hustlers while exploring cultural heritage tourist sites. His ethnography stretches into the Amazon, where indigenous fantasies are tinged with the erotic at eco-resorts, and into the homes of "kept men," who forge long-term, long-distance, transnational relationships that blur the boundaries of what counts as commercial sex. Mitchell asks how tourists perceive sex workers' performances of Brazilianness, race, and masculinity, and, in turn, how these two groups of men make sense of differing models of racial and sexual identity across cultural boundaries. He proposes that in order to better understand how people experience difference sexually, we reframe prostitution-which Marxist feminists have long conceptualized as sexual labor-as also being a form of performative labor. Tourist Attractions is an exceptional ethnography poised to make an indelible impact in the fields of anthropology, gender, and sexuality, and research on prostitution and tourism.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226309101
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 386 g
Dimensions: 226 x 150 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Tourist Attractions not only holds its own, but in fact stands out as a new and innovative study within a field that is noteworthy for its strength. Mitchell brings the legacy of this scholarly tradition into meaningful dialogue with a range of other literatures that have emerged on issues like sex work, tourism, and race relations. He offers rare insight into the context of commercial sex and gives readers the lived experience of a social system in all its richness and complexity. This book is a tour de force."-- "Richard Parker, director, Center for the Study of Culture, Politics and Health, Columbia University"
"Tourist Attractions tackles a difficult subject: the intimate sexual economies between men inserted in very different places and positions, juggling contradictory layers of stigmatized and privileged identities. It takes a highly reflective and perceptive anthropologist to get respondents to open up about these most personal aspects of their lives. Mitchell has accomplished this, providing the reader a precious insight into a site of transnational commercial sex that will greatly advance our conversations about racialized sexualities and sexualized races within the Americas. This exceptional ethnography belongs on the reading list not only of scholars and students of anthropology, gender and queer studies, but also to those interested in American Studies and the intra-continental sexual economies within the Americas."-- "American Studies"
"A valuable and insightful book about how sex works to both frame encounters between foreign tourists and Brazilian sex workers, and also to complicate and extend the impressions and the relationships that result from those encounters. The focus on male sex workers is welcome and overdue, and the attention to eco-tourism, African-American 'roots tourism, ' and the way that some client-sex worker relationships develop into transnational queer families is eye-opening, fresh, and fascinating."-- "Don Kulick, author of Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes"
"This is an intimate and innovative ethnography on male sex work in Brazil. Building on research in three Brazilian cities (Rio de Janeiro, Manaus, and Salvador) from 2006 to 2015, Mitchell adeptly fuses theories of affective labor, eroticized authenticity, and queer kinship to develop a nuanced analysis of how shifting performances of masculinity and race shape not only sex workers but also their clients, girlfriends or wives, and families. In studying these complex sexual economies, Mitchell artfully connects rich ethnographic data, including extensive participant-observation in sex work locations and interviews with 50 sex workers and 40 foreign tourists, to broader themes of sexual subjectivities, sex tourism, gay consumerism, and contemporary neoliberal capitalism. . . . Tourist Attractions will appeal to a broad readership and would be a great ethnography for undergraduate and graduate courses."-- "American Ethnologist"

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