Trine Mygind Korsby

Trine Mygind Korsby

Postdoc

Primary fields of research

Research fields: Pimping, human trafficking, transnational crime, forced labour, sex work. Pimps, traffickers, sex workers and the people who are trafficked - their business and social relations. Anthropology of the body, perpetrators, criminal lives, desire, skill, morality, love, labour.

Other thematic fields: Experiments in collaboration, concept-work.

Regional specialization: Romania, Italy and Denmark.

Current research

Postdoc research - "Fortune Chasers: Transnational Hustling and the Everyday Livelihoods of Organised Theft and Scamming in Europe":

My postdoc builds on my previous research with Romanian criminal networks engaged in transnational pimping and other kinds of transnational crime. The project explores the activities of credit-card fraud, theft, trick theft and scams, and how these activities are learned and performed. 

The project follows a group of transnational 'fortune chasers' and tracks their everyday economy, business practices and morality. The project follows the streams of money in the transnational networks and thus the informants' workflows, negotiations and financial rationalities, as well as their contributions to local and family household economies. The postdoc also deals with research ethics and methodology in criminal fields that are difficult to access.

The postdoc is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research (FKK), and it is carried out at Stanford University, USA.

PhD (defended in March 2015) - "Hustlers of Desire. Transnational Pimping and Body Economies in Eastern Romania":

My PhD deals with pimping, transnational crime and human trafficking in Europe. The project is based on fieldwork in the industrial city of Galaţi in Eastern Romania with pimps who take their business abroad. Fieldwork has also been carried out in Italy, which is a favoured destination country for the pimps' business. The PhD analyses the pimps' business operations and social relations with their sex workers, family members, spouses and business associates. Since 2007, I have also followed and done fieldwork with a group of young, Romanian female sex workers who were categorised as trafficked in Italy.

The PhD explores which skills are central to pimping, and analyses how both successful pimp and sex worker bodies are produced in the field of transnational pimping in a postsocialist context in Eastern Romania. Besides illuminating the body politics of pimping and the streams of desire that come together in pimp and sex worker bodies, the PhD explores the business operations, love lives of the pimps and the intergenerational conflicts within the pimps' families.

The PhD analyses how morality - and the experience of performing physical violence - is perceived by and bodily anchored in the people categorised as perpetrators. The PhD furthermore deals with labour, criminal livelihoods and local notions of "appropriate work" across generations in the industrial city of Galaţi in postsocialist Eastern Romania.

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