The Devil's Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland by Keely Stauter-HalstedThe Devil's Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland by Keely Stauter-Halsted

The Devil's Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland

byKeely Stauter-Halsted

Hardcover | December 21, 2015

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In the half-century before Poland's long-awaited political independence in 1918, anxiety surrounding the country's burgeoning sex industry fueled nearly constant public debate. The Devil's Chain is the first book to examine the world of commercial sex throughout the partitioned Polish territories, uncovering a previously hidden conversation about sexuality, gender propriety, and social class. Keely Stauter-Halsted situates the preoccupation with prostitution in the context of Poland's struggle for political independence and its difficult transition to modernity. She traces the Poles’ growing anxiety about white slavery, venereal disease, and eugenics by examining the regulation of the female body, the rise of medical authority, and the role of social reformers in addressing the problem of paid sex.Stauter-Halsted argues that the sale of sex was positioned at the juncture of mass and elite cultures, affecting nearly every aspect of urban life and bringing together sharply divergent social classes in what had long been a radically stratified society. She captures the experiences of the impoverished women who turned to the streets and draws a vivid picture of the social milieu that shaped their choices. The Devil’s Chain demonstrates that discussions of prostitution and its attendant disorders—sexual deviancy, alcoholism, child abuse, vagrancy, and other related problems—reflected differing visions for the future of the Polish nation.

Keely Stauter-Halsted is Professor of History and Stefan & Lucy Hejna Family Chair in the History of Poland at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of The Devil's Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned Poland and The Nation in the Village: The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland, 1...
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Title:The Devil's Chain: Prostitution and Social Control in Partitioned PolandFormat:HardcoverDimensions:392 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:December 21, 2015Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801454190

ISBN - 13:9780801454196

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reforming the National Body1. Out of the Shadows2. On the Abyss: The Turn to Paid Sex3. Sex and the Bourgeois Family4. Narratives of Entrapment5. Sex Trafficking and Human Migration6. The Devil's Chain7. Female Activism and the Shadow State8. The Physician and the Fallen Woman9. Purity and Danger: Prostitution Reform and the Birth of Polish Eugenics10. Sex in the New RepublicConclusion: Prostitution and the Shaping of the National Community

Editorial Reviews

"This important and pathbreaking book investigates prostitution and trafficking in women in the Polish lands in the nineteenth century. It convincingly demonstrates how these phenomena provoked a moral panic and were used as metaphors to illustrate the traumas endured by the country since the partitions and, in particular, since the onset of industrialization and urbanization and shows how attempts were made to alleviate the problem. It is essential reading for all those interested in the social and political history of Europe in the nineteenth century." - Antony Polonsky, Chief Historian, Museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw