Commodified Sexuality and Mother-Daughter Power Dynamics in the Mekong Delta – a seminar by Nicolas Lainez (Wed, 7 March 2012)

Speaker: Nicolas Lainez (PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

This presentation explores how one family from An Giang Province (Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam) commodifies the sexuality and emotional labor of the daughter for the interests of the family. The case study illustrates the way in which commodified sexual economy occurs in the context of an indebted and economically vulnerable household. In this family, “transactional sex” is one of the resources employed to repay the debt incurred. The study shows the ways in which the mother provides, initiates and maintains the conditions for the sexual commodification of her daughter through the power situated within the mother-daughter relationship, as manifested through the narrative of gratitude and duty, the use of violence and the definition of commodified relationships in fictive kinship and reciprocity.

About the speaker
Nicolas Lainez graduated from film school in 1998. He then produced a social photography project addressing human trafficking, prostitution and AIDS in Asia that was widely broadcast throughout Europe and Asia. In 2004, he resumed academic studies and obtained a Masters in Development Studies at the University of Paris I-Pantheon Sorbonne, and a Masters in Social Anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).

Currently he is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Anthropology at EHES. He is also a Research Associate at the Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia based in Bangkok, and Visiting Affiliate at the Asia Research Institute (National University of Singapore).

His research is based in Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore.