Behind Closed Doors: Modern Korean State and Its Explotation of Sexuality




Sandstrum, Grey

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Supported by focused ethnographies, interviews, and newspaper publications regarding the experiences of the women involved in sex labor, this project examines the oppressive environment established by the Korean state. The study presents a linear transformation of the Korean state and its exploitations of female sexuality, following its actions from the 1930s onward through the three major periods of modern Korean history: the colonial, developmental, and neoliberal periods.

The goal of this project is to link the sexuality exploitation in all three periods together to demonstrate the three main vested interests of the state:

(1) national security via American occupation (2) stimulate foreign investment by regulating sex tourism industries (3) nurture international diplomacy

This project contributes to the understanding of the nation-state and its relationship to the sex industry, a critical yet hidden market fueled by the labor of marginalized and unprotected groups over time and highlights the importance of international politics and shifting global markets in this relationship.



LCSH Subject Headings