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Selling Sex in Kenya
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Book description

As Kenyan women traditionally have fewer formal employment opportunities, often occupying lower-paid jobs in the informal sector, the experiences of women who earn money in unorthodox ways can offer revealing insights into the agency of women and its limits. Grounded in the narratives and life stories of women selling sex in Kenya, Eglė Česnulytė reveals the range of gendered and gendering effects that neoliberal policies have on everyday socio-political realities. By contextualising and historicising contemporary debates in the field, this important interdisciplinary study explores the societal structures that neo-liberal narratives and reforms influence, their gendered effects, and the extent to which individuals must internalise neoliberal economic logics in order to make or improve their living. In so doing, Česnulytė counters the prevailing male-dominated studies in political science to place women, and female-based narratives at the forefront.


'An outstanding contribution to the understanding of sex work in Kenya in the context of neoliberalism. Egle Cesnulyte explores with immense analytical heft, and on the basis of extensive ethnography, how sex work can be a way for women to accumulate capital and to sustain livelihood strategies as part of reproductive labour. A must read.'

Ray Bush - University of Leeds

'This excellent analysis of how female sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya, experience and challenge socio-economic realities provides critical insight into their lives; how they exercise agency in ‘tight corners’; and the gendered impact of neo-liberal practice and discourse. A must read for anyone interested in gender, everyday political economy or neoliberalism.'

Gabrielle Lynch - University of Warwick

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