Home    Number 3, 2023

Anthropological Study of European Prostitution: Experiences and Perspectives

[Antropologicheskoe issledovanie evropeiskoi prostitutsii: opyt i perspektivy]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523030016


Type of publication: Editor's Introduction

Submitted: 01.03.2023

Accepted: 07.04.2023

About author(s)

Oxana Fais-Leutskaia | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2757-2434 | oxana-fais@yandex.ru | Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences (32-a Leninsky prospect, Moscow, 119991, Russia)

Alexander Novik | http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1123-1109 | njual@mail.ru | Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences (3 University Emb., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia)


European countries, national prostitution, traditional society, field work, modernity


This article is an introduction to the journal’s special theme on “Profession and Society: Love for Money” where contributors discuss the place of prostitution in modern culture and everyday life and attempt to examine the phenomenon as viewed locally, in emic perspectives, in various regions of Europe. The canonical model of providing (mostly by women) intimate services for a fee, which became generically known as “national” or “traditional” prostitution, took its distinctive shape in the late 19th century and remained dominant in the market of sexual services up until the recent time. This model, oddly enough, has been understudied in the humanities and social sciences and has received less attention than, for example, some ancient (cult, patriarchal) or modern forms of prostitution (among the latter are “ethnic” forms, which emerged due to the intensification of migration processes, “gender specific” – such as male or transgender – forms, or various “innovative” forms that have arisen due to the use of webcams, technologies, etc.). The contributors (S.A. Sidneva, A.A. Novik, A.N. Kozhanovsky, A. Maxia, and O.D. Fais-Leutskaia) present an array of viewpoints on the phenomenon of traditional prostitution, offering perspectives grounded in field studies, ethnographic reconstruction, and anthropological analysis of cases examined in a few European regions (Greece, Albania, Spain, Sardinia, and Sicily).


Fais-Leutskaia, O.D., and A.A. Novik. 2023. Antropologicheskoe issledovanie evropeiskoi prostitutsii: opyt i perspektivy [Anthropological Study of European Prostitution: Experiences and Perspectives]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 3: 5–22. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523030016 EDN: COKAHG

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