CHILDHOOD, POVERTY AND SOCIAL STIGMA IN BORN INTO BROTHELS: CALCUTTA’S RED LIGHT KIDS
BORN INTO BROTHELS: CALCUTTA’S RED LIGHT KIDS’TE ÇOCUKLUK, YOKSULLUK VE TOPLUMSAL DAMGALANMA

Author : Burak ŞAHİN -- Neriman AÇIKALIN
Number of pages : 471-482

Abstract

Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids (2004), directed by Zana Briski and Ross Kaufman, is a documantary movie subjects children of “red light district” in the city of Kolkata (India). There are many themes in the movie such as the poverty, prostitution, social inequality and the the weakness of the social mobility. In this study, it is aimed to analyze what film reflects around the sociological debates. In this direction, first it is focused on the patriarchal system’s legitimation of prostitution, then expressed the causes of children’s disadvantaged status in the red light district. Children born in Sonagachi are worked from an early age, they are forced to fulfill their role in the prostitution market. Their lack of educational opportunities does not allow social mobility. Born in Sonagachi literally means “to be stigmatized”. Film is important in terms of revealing that poverty’s bond with “otherness”, “stigma” and “marginal sector”. Children of Calcutta takes too much share from social inequality; they are seen as an “insurance” by their families. Neither families nor the state make an effort to get rid of the children working in the marginal sector. Sociological discussions of Born into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids is helpful to crytallize the legacy of the poverty. In this context, the study first mentions the world of Sonagachi's women. Then, under the three categories, children's poverty and stigmatization is addressed. The fact that the family defines their children as an insurance makes the future of the children distant from any change. Lack of educational opportunities does not allow social mobility at all. Children who are exposed to various forms of stigmatization face social exclusion.

Keywords

Born into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light K

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