Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Par-delà la traite des femmes vietnamiennes en Asie du Sud-Est. Anthropologie économique des carrières intimes

Abstract : This thesis, based on fieldwork on sex trafficking conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore, formulates an economic anthropology of intimate relations that conceptualises Vietnamese sex workers as embedded in relations with informal creditors, sex migration brokers, employers in the sex industry, their families and their clients. While the market economy embraced by Vietnam since the launch of the Đổi mới reforms in 1986 encourages women to invest, become indebted, consume and migrate, several obstacles stand in their way : exclusion from formal credit markets, high cost of regulated labor migration, familial obligations, gender inequalities and the risk of stigmatisation. To make their way in this world of opportunities and constraints, they use intimacy as a multipurpose and strategic resource to strengthen their leverage in dealing with these constraints. The framework I propose is based on a concept, careers of intimacy, that takes into account the fluidity of their trajectories and the articulation between economy and intimacy. This perspective examines the trajectories of debt in light of the recent evolution of financial markets and transnational migration for sex work ; the trajectories of care with regard to the familialist welfare regime promoted by the state ; sexual careers through the prism of gender inequalities, and notably the sexual division of labour ; and moral careers with reference to state-initiated campaigns against « social evils ». Based on solid ethnographic work that focused on the economic ethnography of intimacy, a longitudinal approach and my considerable experience with NGOs working on anti-trafficking in Southeast Asia, this research quickly went beyond its initial objective – human trafficking – to unveil the private lives of Vietnamese women which were inextricably tied to the market economy. Thus, the research became an investigation of the place of intimacy in the market economy. The theoretical moorings of this research are the anthropology of slavery, the « deconstructivist » approach towards trafficking discourses and practices, the economic sociology of intimacy and the sociology of careers.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Nicolas Lainez <>
Submitted on : Sunday, August 9, 2015 - 4:27:21 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 8:26:07 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-01183507, version 1


Nicolas Lainez. Par-delà la traite des femmes vietnamiennes en Asie du Sud-Est. Anthropologie économique des carrières intimes. Anthropologie sociale et ethnologie. École des hautes études en sciences sociales, 2015. Français. ⟨tel-01183507⟩



Record views


Files downloads