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Lydia's Open Door: Inside Mexico's Most Modern Brothel
by Patty Kelly
In this groundbreaking ethnographic study, Patty Kelly examines the lives of the women who work in the Zona Galactica, a state-run brothel in Chiapas's capital city. By delving into lives that would otherwise go unremarked, Kelly documents the modernization of the sex industry during the neoliberal era in the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and illustrates how state-regulated sex ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published April 2nd 2008 by University of California Press
(first published January 1st 2008)
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I was disappointed with Kelly's work. While I do give her credit for situating her discussion of sexuality in Tuxtla historically, politically, and economically...her analysis is lacking. She uses a Foucauldian power/resistance framework without really talking about resistance (cringe)--which I understand is covert, but she should at least preface this in her discussion of the theory. To have no mention at all of the complex interplay of these two theoretical constructs constantly contesting and ...more
Worthwhile account of legal prostitution in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Kelly gives useful socioeconomic background to inform an understanding of why women choose to work in the "Galactic Zone" (though no good explanation of that name...) and how their work affects their social lives outside of the zone. If you want to understand sex work from a non-US context this is worth reading. Same goes for those of you who are trying to get a sense of how free trade policies affect poor people; in this ...more
As a non-academic reader, I found this book too be a little too cursory in the exploration of each component in Mexico's legal prostitution industry. I would have preferred more detail about the clients, prostitutes, or industry as opposed to a little about each, however; I am certain this was a disseration turned into a book and, as such, the author was asked to focus on all of the disparate pieces of puzzle instead of just one or two.