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Girl Handlers

A Contemporary Look at 21st Century Colombian Pimping in Hong Kong



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Girl Handlers by Ricardo Reinaldo Forrester
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This dissertation, "Girl Handlers: a Contemporary Look at 21st Century Colombian Pimping in Hong Kong" by Ricardo Reinaldo, Forrester, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to explain the identity narratives of three different Colombian 'girl handlers' in Hong Kong and how these form a nexus to a wider context of human trafficking and organised crime. This investigation takes form in the analysis of their impression management utilising the concepts of front-stage, back-stage, facework, techniques of neutralisation they utilise to justify their behaviour, and their links to organised crime syndicates operating both within and outside of Hong Kong. I also look at the way in which they go about doing their business of 'girl handling' in practice. The research was conducted to gain a better understanding of this particular criminal subculture. The context of the aforementioned forms of analysis; and attempts to offer original insight into this criminal group. It is a relatively small operation functioning within the greater scheme of the sex trade and as such, most of the people involved in this trade were interviewed. This investigation was conducted through in-depth interviews of the Colombian 'girl handlers' and in-depth interviews with a priest who is familiar with this scene. In addition I have analysed both Colombian court documents which verify certain claims made by the research participants and documents released by the United Nations in relations to a particular case which will be mentioned in the third chapter of this thesis. The empirical findings of this research demonstrate that Colombian girl handlers have to manage different facades to operate in this trade and keep it secret from people they do not trust; this works both ways as they would lose credibility in both their legal and illegal jobs. Another finding is that they utilise various techniques of neutralisation to justify their behaviour and actions in the trade. The last finding illustrates that all three girl handlers have some ties to an organised crime syndicate (if they are not fully affiliated) as they would not be allowed to operate within this field without such connections. Those who do, conform to the 'outer layers' or 'fringes' of the Colombian cartels. The interviewees therefore could be defined as small cogs working in the "outer layers" of an international machine of crime syndicates far away from Hong Kong. This study therefore allows for the understanding of Colombian 'girl handlers' in different forms which make each unique in the way that he conducts his business. DOI: 10.5353/th_b4961731 Subjects: Prostitutes - China - Hong KongHuman trafficking - China - Hong KongOrganized crime - China - Hong Kong
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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