Seduction and the self: movements through precarity, race and sexuality in Japanese host clubs

Pardis Mahdavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this article, I build on the notion of precarity to argue that Japanese host clubs are sites in which a particular kind of intimacy and sense of 'belonging' are produced. The analysis highlights host clubs as necessary spaces among many in the precarious economy and as important venues for the production of subjectivity for the male hosts (both migrant and Japanese) as well as for the migrant women who frequent these establishments. In particular, host clubs provide a lucrative employment opportunity for young men - particularly young men who are migrants from the rural parts of Japan or the Philippines (and often Japanese-Filipino young men) who are trying to make a living in the context of what has been characterised as 'precarious Japan'. I draw on extended ethnographic fieldwork to show how the host clubs, though a part of the precarious economy, provide sites of home and belonging for both hosts and their clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCulture, health & sexuality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Japan
  • Sex work
  • host clubs
  • migration
  • precarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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