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This chapter explores sex work and compares legal regimes in two case study contexts of Scotland and New Zealand. It highlights parallels in policy norms and approaches…
This chapter explores sex work and compares legal regimes in two case study contexts of Scotland and New Zealand. It highlights parallels in policy norms and approaches towards women in sex work and women who use drugs, including stigmatisation and punishment of ‘deviant’ women or alternatively, approaches that seek to ‘rescue’ women and which frames them as victims. Different policy approaches and regulatory regimes are discussed but the chapter argues that without attention to social justice issues, the structural drivers of women’s engagement in sex work will continue to be overlooked. Participation in policy processes by those with lived experience is emphasised, both to ensure better understanding of sex work by policymakers, and also in recognition of the citizenship, voice and agency of sex workers.
This article considers the likely success of recent reforms of prostitution policy by reflecting on a recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation‐funded study that examined the…
This article considers the likely success of recent reforms of prostitution policy by reflecting on a recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation‐funded study that examined the experiences of those living and working in areas of street sex work. This empirical work points to some of the dangers of policy frameworks and techniques of control that continue to situate sex work as antithetical to the cultivation of community safety.
Purpose – The purpose of this essay is to look at the workplace of hostess clubs as moral projects and examine the constitution of morals in the marketplace “from below,”…
Purpose – The purpose of this essay is to look at the workplace of hostess clubs as moral projects and examine the constitution of morals in the marketplace “from below,” meaning from the perspective of workers. It focuses specifically on the experiences of Filipina hostesses, who constitute the majority of foreign hostesses in Japan. Specifically, it looks at their moral construction of commercial sex in the clubs where they work, which are usually Philippine clubs, meaning clubs that solely employ Filipino women.
Methodology/Approach – Ethnographic research in Philippine hostess clubs in Tokyo, Japan.
Findings – The analysis illustrates the emergence of three moral groupings among Filipina hostesses. They include moral prudes (those who view paid sex as immoral), moral rationalists (those who morally accept paid sex), and lastly moral in-betweeners (those who morally reject the direct purchase of sex but accept its indirect purchase). The case of hostess clubs shows us market activities – in this case, customer–hostess interactions – do not inevitably result in a hegemonic churning of a particular moral order, as the constitution of morals in the marketplace is not only a top-down process but depends on the actions from below, specifically the personal moral order of hostesses, the club culture (sex regimes), peer pressure, and employment status concerns.
Value – This essay provides concrete empirical evidence on an understudied group of migrant workers, and it advances our knowledge on the experiences of sex workers and their negotiation of moral views on commercial sex.
Examining paths into and out of sex work followed by three women in Bangalore, India, this essay argues that the struggles of sex workers to secure a livelihood highlight…
Examining paths into and out of sex work followed by three women in Bangalore, India, this essay argues that the struggles of sex workers to secure a livelihood highlight the interlocking relationships of caste, class, and gender, as well as forms of autonomy and agency within these systems. Interview narratives reveal how gendered marginalization leads to precarious work; and precarious work leads to sexual stigma. They show how intersectionality theory can be placed in conversation with Marxist feminisms and Indian feminist scholarship on caste, class, and gender to illuminate patterns of gendered economic marginalization in urban India. Such an analysis offers a way to articulate the relationships of caste, class, and gender in the lives of sex workers and to illustrate how intersectionality theory can be extended when engaged transnationally.
Sex work migration involves a huge number of females from Nigeria, and has attracted concerns within and across the country. To add to ongoing conversations about…
Sex work migration involves a huge number of females from Nigeria, and has attracted concerns within and across the country. To add to ongoing conversations about responsible migration, our review underscores the prevalence of sex work migration in Edo State, Nigeria, the drivers and interventions.
The review adopted exhaustive search terms coined with the aid of “Boolean Operators”. Search terms were entered into several search engines and databases to elicit peer-reviewed and grey literature within sex work migration and human trafficking for commercial sex. An output of 578 studies was recorded with 76 (43 academic papers and 33 grey literature) meeting the inclusion criteria.
The study acknowledged wide-spread prevalence of sex work migration involving Nigerian females who are largely from Edo State. It achieved a prioritization of the factors that drive sex work migration based on how frequent they were mentioned in reviewed literature: economic (64.4%), cultural (46%), educational (20%), globalization (14.5%) and political factors (13.2%). Several interventions were highlighted together with their several limitations which include funding, absence of grass-roots engagement, dearth of appropriate professionals, corruption, weak political will, among others. A combination of domestic and international interventions was encouraged, and social workers were found to be needful.
Our systematic review is the first on this subject, as none was found throughout our search. It seeks to inform policy measures and programmes, as well as horizontal efforts poised to tackle the rising figures of sex work migrants and attendant consequences in Nigeria.
The purpose of this paper is to examine contemporary sex worker labour unionism in a number of major western economies because it now faces an acute historical dilemma of…
The purpose of this paper is to examine contemporary sex worker labour unionism in a number of major western economies because it now faces an acute historical dilemma of being forced into acting as the antithesis of what it professes and aims to be, namely, elite pressure groups.
Interviews and structured e‐mail dialogues with sex worker union activists were supplemented with an array of secondary sources and documentation, the authors of which are sex workers union activists themselves.
This loss of initial momentum for sex worker unionization projects concerned paucity of human resources, the limited spread of a “sex work” consciousness among sex workers, and ambivalence from potential allies. Consequently, sex worker unions concentrated on engaging in political lobbying on public policy, projects of legal reform of sex work, and helping provide individualized assistance to sex workers inside and outside their worksites on health issues, criminal offences and business matters. Thus, nascent or weakened labour unions in the sex industry acted as pressure groups concerned with work issues in a way in which other pressure groups operate on non‐work issues, thereby forsaking a key characteristic of labour unionism, namely, the focus of collective self‐activity in and on the workplace and from a basis on having a tangible presence in the workplace through membership among workers.
This research is of value to researchers, practitioners and policy makers, for it shows how workers seek collective interest representation through collective means in an environment of “atypical” work and employment.
This paper contributes to a growing body of work studying sex work and sex workers from what can be termed conventional, sociological and organizational behavioural approaches. The result of this is to be able to understand the processes and outcomes of their activities and exchanges as economic and social transactions rather than deviancy.
Drawing upon notions of agency and the body, the purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of agency as a gendered concept through a consideration of women sex…
Drawing upon notions of agency and the body, the purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of agency as a gendered concept through a consideration of women sex‐workers. Specifically, the paper analyses how far women sex‐workers may be regarded as social agents. It then considers how far notions of agency, in relation to sex‐workers' embodied boundaries, may be gendered.
The paper reviews existing literature on sex‐workers and sex‐work practices, looking at indoor sex‐work (massage parlours), outdoor sex‐work (street sex‐work) and trafficking. It considers these types of sex‐work in relation to agency, gender and the body.
The paper acknowledges the diversity of women's experience within different aspects of the sex trade. The paper recognizes claims that treating sex‐workers as “victims” could further jeopardize their social position. However, the paper finds that the “options” available to sex‐workers are severely constrained. Specifically, the lack of capacity among sex‐workers to set embodied “rules of engagement” with clients makes the notion of agency problematic. The paper contends that “agency” is itself a gendered concept not only in relation to sex‐work, but also in the context of women's work more broadly.
Through the idea of agency as a gendered concept, the paper offers alternative ways of exploring agency, the body and women's work.
The paper puts forward the notion of agency as a gendered concept. This opens up possibilities for further research on women's “choices”, and who “makes the rules” within different labour markets.
In this chapter, the authors reflect on how the criminological agenda can move towards disrupting the boundaries that exist between the academe and sex work activism. The…
In this chapter, the authors reflect on how the criminological agenda can move towards disrupting the boundaries that exist between the academe and sex work activism. The authors do so as academics who strive to affect social change outside of the academe, but do not attempt to offer a prescriptive ‘how to guide’. Indeed, they are themselves still grappling with the challenges of, and learning to be better at, ‘academic-activism’. The chapter begins by shining light on the activist underpinnings of the sex workers’ rights movement, before outlining some of the key scholarship in sex work studies, drawing particular attention to that which seeks to bring about social change. It then explores the utility of participatory action research (PAR) to sex work studies and reflects on how a PAR-inspired approach was used in the Beyond the Gaze research project. Here, the authors cast a critically reflexive eye over the unique realities, including the challenges, of integrating sex worker ‘peer researchers’ within the research team. The chapter concludes by considering how the criminological agenda must adapt if we truly want to bring truly want to bring about positive social change for sex workers, as well as how the current system of Higher Education ultimately stymies ‘academic-activist’ approaches to research.
Purpose – Exploration of the methodological aspects of male sex work is rather limited. Without a strong methodological toolkit to draw from, research in male sex work…
Purpose – Exploration of the methodological aspects of male sex work is rather limited. Without a strong methodological toolkit to draw from, research in male sex work will not be able to accurately capture changes in the dynamic sex work environment. Thus, the author provides a comprehensive review of methods in male sex work along with a broad spectrum of methodological insights through which future research can be advanced.
Methodology/approach – Drawing from two studies that the author conducted in the male independent escorting space, this chapter provides a range of methodological insights and offers avenues for future research.
Findings – This chapter reviews the methods used in male sex work research over the years and details the lack of research on methodological inquiry in the field.
Originality/value – With the increasing normalization and dynamism of male sex work, it is necessary for the research to provide methodological guidance for the next wave of studies in the field. The recommendations and research directions proposed herein are hoped to have implications for research in the larger sex work context.