This study examines judicial disputes involving prostitutes, pimps and their clients in the coastal societies of southern China during the 17th century. In the light of four late Ming casebooks – the Mengshui zhai cundu, the Zheyu xinyu, the Puyang yandu and the Yunjian yanlüe – and of early Qing collections of exemplar cases (cheng’an) edited and distributed by the Ministry of Punishment, the origins and management of the low-grade prostitutes who primarily sold sexual services to make a living, the nature of the judicial conflicts they faced, the ways the judges attempted to resolve these disputes, and the legal status and rights of the women in the trade, will all be explored. The main question raised in this paper regards the impact of the new inputs of Manchu statecraft ideas, and of the return of the Cheng-Zhu Confucian school to dominance in the political and intellectual realms in the early Qing period: what did change in the legal treatment of, and attitude of officials towards, prostitution during the Ming-Qing transition? Did judges under the Manchu regime, in contrast with the free-handed or even sympathetic attitudes displayed by their late Ming counterparts, see prostitution as a moral and social problem and attempt to increase social control by suppressing or even eliminating the “oldest trade in human history”?
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2011|
|Event||Joint Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 2011: Celebrating 70 Years of Asian Studies - Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, United States|
Duration: 31 Mar 2011 → 3 Apr 2011
|Conference||Joint Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) and the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 2011|
|Abbreviated title||AAS 2011|
|Period||31/03/11 → 3/04/11|