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The Devil's ChainProstitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland$
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Keely Stauter-Halsted

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801454196

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801454196.001.0001

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Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows

(p.21) Chapter 1 Out of the Shadows
The Devil's Chain

Keely Stauter-Halsted

Cornell University Press

This chapter argues that Poland's increased demand for prostitution can be traced to its cities' demographics. Peasant emancipation followed by massive migration out of the countryside, as well as a dearth of employment opportunities for unskilled women, created a dramatic upsurge in lower-class reliance on prostitution as a means of subsistence. In addition, as more and more young men in search for seasonal jobs, high culture, and education flocked to Poland, prostitutes became more aggressive in plying their trade. Each of these settings offered a steady clientele for commercial sex workers. In many respects, then, the anxiety surrounding the incidence of prostitution in Polish cities had its roots in socioeconomic causes.

Keywords:   Poland, prostitution, peasant emancipation, commercial sex, unskilled women, subsistence

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