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Title: Travelling for becoming a 'normal' gay man : liminality, sexual fields, and gay Taiwanese men's sex tourism to Bangkok
Author: Yang, Yo-Hsin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 6806
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigates gay Taiwanese men's engagements in sex tourism in Bangkok. It bases on an one-year fieldwork conducted in Taiwan and Bangkok, involving an ethnography and follow-up interviews. I played multiple roles- researcher, peer, tour guide and a sexualised subject in the research process. The combination of methods and my different identities offers an intervention into methodological debates concerned with challenging the possibility of 'the singular truth' in research and the appropriateness of a researcher's 'sexual participation'. Thus, this has elicited an alternative rationale and praxis for studying sexual practices. Through the theoretical lens of liminality sexual fields, this thesis argues that gay Taiwanese men intensively engage in different sexual practices in Bangkok not simply because they are switching to the 'Bangkok mode', a particular hypersexual state generated by the specific liminal time-space of traveling to this city. Also, their engagements in these sexual practices are due to their understanding of Bangkok as either an advantageous or democratic sexual field that enhances their sexual desirability. Thus, travelling to Bangkok becomes a synonym of having more opportunities of socio-sexual interactions with other gay men. As fieldwork for this research shows, gay Taiwanese men engage in socio-sexual interactions for more than just sex, but also for accruing sexual capital in its multiple forms. This thesis argues that these gay men accrue sexual capital in order to enhance their (images of) sexual desirability and hence becoming a 'normal' gay man. The thesis concludes that Taiwanese gay men undertake sex tourism to escape from, submit to, and as a form of re-negotiation with the normalisations relating to sexual morality and sexual desirability of gay men in Taiwan.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available