Tiantian Zheng


This paper explores labor resistance amongst rural migrant karaoke bar hostesses, many of whom are sex workers, in the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian. I argue that hostesses are subject to exploitation and violence because of hostile public policy and the organization of the sex industry, both of which limit the possibilities for labor organizing based upon localistic networks. While hostesses do form alliances based upon their native place, which supplies them with financial and emotional support, these localistic networks are transient and temporary because hostesses aspire to deflect from their group as a “criminal” group and they also face high internal competitions.