This work of social history seen from below is about women with stigmatized social identity who, along with other marginalized people and criminals, have usually been forgotten by traditional historiography. The theoretically and methodologically solid study of the province of San José between 1860 and 1949 is based on primary sources from newspapers and archives and a broad knowledge of literature produced in Europe and the United States that analyzes prostitution. This book, by Juan José Marín Hernández, received the Costa Rican Premio Nacional Aquileo J. Echeverría for history in 2007.

Marin’s work does not entail moral or feminist dogmas. This allows the reader to understand the social phenomenon of prostitution from the perspective of social control. Starting from social control conceived as a social and cultural fact, it is possible to understand the mechanisms through which socially dominant groups establish basic control devices over prostitution as a social practice...

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