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Lisa Caviglia publishes Dissertation

06. Feb. 2018

Dr. Lisa Caviglia, former doctoral candidate in the Cluster's Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies, published her dissertation titled “Sex Work in Nepal. The Making and Unmaking of a Category”. It is part of the series “Nepal and the Himalayan Studies” and was published with Routledge India.

The publication analyses sexual consumption in Nepal and discusses the categorization of “sex work”. Lisa Caviglia challenges the discursive framing of this notion and the production of related sociocultural norms and perceptions. In an in-depth ethnography, she presents stories of those labelled as sex workers and provides descriptions of their experiences, agency, decision-making processes, and lives. With her narrative on sex consumption, the author deconstructs the definition of sex workers and questions ideas of gender, objectification and victimhood.

A focus lies on the contradictory impact that global aspects and urban surroundings, the local community and the media have on the understanding of sex work. The author considers both changes as well as continuities in this discourse by tracing for example imported notions of love, new visual images or also the work of development aid projects. Correspondingly, the publication addresses a broad academic research field including Women and Gender Studies, Sociology and Social Anthropology, South Asian Studies and Social Sciences, as well as NGOs and the development sector.

Lisa Caviglia currently works at the Humboldt University zu Berlin as lecturer, researcher and coordinator of the "Global and Area Studies" programme, where she works on women’s labour migration from Nepal to the Southern European fringe and South East Asia. Between 2008 and 2011 she was a doctoral canditate and scholarship holder in the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies at the Cluster. Lisa Caviglia holds a Bachelor of Science in Medical Biochemistry, from King's College in London, and a Master of Science in International Health, from Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Her interest in anthropology grew from her long term work in Asia.


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