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Abstract

MEET ME IN THE ISLANDS: SUN, SAND AND TRANSACTIONAL SEX IN CARIBBEAN DISCOURSE

The Caribbean has been figured in literary, state, touristic and advertising discourses as a dream space getaway, in which one can shed inhibitions and social accretions for a therapeutic dose of sun and sand and transactional sex which promises to heal, restore and put the alienated back in touch with the senses. This paper reads a range of fictional, state and advertising discourses to analyse the complex and paradoxical manner in which first and third world development and power relations play themselves out on the most intimate of spatial scapes - the body. It explores the uses of fantasy, ideology, sensuality and desire in the global tourist economy. The study also poses questions on - the correlations between sites of pleasure industries and the multifaceted transactional sex encounters which these sites facilitate; connections between the contemporary scenario and the historical significance of interracial sex which was pivotal to the encounter between worlds; and the extent to which the transnational, multiethnic sex industry feeds off the contemporary flux and crises in gender norms and interactions.

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