Carnal Economies: The Commodification of Food and Sex in Kathmandu

Abstract

In the cultural dynamics surrounding the commodification of culinary and sexual services through the emergence of modern restaurants and prostitution in Kathmandu, Nepal, the meanings surrounding commensality and endogamy change dramatically as transactions in food and sex are displaced from the private, domestic realm of marital and caste relations into the public culture of a new middle-class consumer society. The public “servicing” of largely male appetites for food and sex is producing new patterns of gender relations and domestic economies while also contributing to the cultural construction of new public and private spheres.

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