The place of prostitution in early twentieth-century Suzhou

Peter J. Carroll*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In early twentieth-century Suzhou, business and state leaders deployed female prostitution to foster commerce despite its controversial nature and sometime illegality. This political-economic policy variously pitted prostitutes and madams, police, commercial interests and social reformers against one another as tensions between gender reform and economic growth played out in urban development. This article analyses these conflicts to highlight the actions of prostitutes and the prerogatives of male desire in Suzhou's spatial and economic transformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-436
Number of pages24
JournalUrban History
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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