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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Phil Hubbard, Teela Sanders and Jane Scoular

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contemporary regulation of sex work in England and Wales, placing this in the context of debates concerning morality, evidence…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the contemporary regulation of sex work in England and Wales, placing this in the context of debates concerning morality, evidence and the efficacy of policy.

Design/methodology/approach

This brief paper is based on reflections on the authors’ research and their contribution to policy debates over the last two decades.

Findings

This paper presents prostitution policy as morality policy and suggests that it remains overwhelmingly based on the idea that prostitution is immoral and hence must be inherently harmful.

Practical implications

The paper makes a strong case for evidence-based policy in an area where morality tends to promote a partial and selective reading of evidence. Here, parallels are drawn with policies regulating other pleasurable but “sinful” activities, including the consumption of drugs and alcohol.

Social implications

It is argued that the dominance of a particular policy approach to sex work perpetuates stigma for those in the sex industries and exacerbates risks of harm.

Originality/value

By highlighting the moral dimensions of prostitution policy, the paper shows that the drift towards the criminalisation of sex work in England and Wales is not informed by academic evidence.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Laura Connelly and Teela Sanders

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-956-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2007

Teela Sanders

In the UK the indoor sexual marketplace of brothels, saunas and massage parlours has historically been left to manage itself, with limited regulation from policing…

Abstract

In the UK the indoor sexual marketplace of brothels, saunas and massage parlours has historically been left to manage itself, with limited regulation from policing agencies. This paper examines the current nature of the indoor sex markets in light of the Home Office's co‐ordinated prostitution strategy. It looks critically at the impact of ‘disrupting sex markets’, and examines the arguments for rejecting a system that regulates the indoor sex venues. It also discusses the proposal to change the law to enable ‘two (or three)’ women to work together indoors and plans to minimise exploitation through an action plan on trafficking and the implications for practitioners and policy are assessed.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2016

Teela Sanders

Radical feminists position any forms of sex work as gender violence against individuals and more broadly for all women in society. I argue against the ideological stance…

Abstract

Radical feminists position any forms of sex work as gender violence against individuals and more broadly for all women in society. I argue against the ideological stance that sex work is inherently violent and as a result should be outlawed, setting out how this ideology and dogma has allowed structural factors to persist. In this paper, I argue that despite the unacceptable high levels of violence against sex workers across the globe, violence in sex work is not inevitable. Through a review of the literature as well as drawing on research from the United Kingdom, I deconstruct the myth of inevitable violence. In turn I argue that violence is dependent on three dynamics. First, environment: spaces in which sex work happens has an intrinsic bearing on the safety of those who work there. Second, the relationship to the state: how prostitution is governed in any one jurisdiction and the treatment of violence against sex workers by the police and judicial system dictates the very organization of the sex industry and the regulation, health and safety of the sex work communities. Third, I argue that social status and stigma have significant effects on societal attitudes toward sex workers and how they are treated. It is because of these interlocking structural, cultural, legal, and social dynamics that violence exists and therefore it is these exact dynamics that hold the solutions to preventing violence against sex workers. Toward the end of the paper, I examine the UK’s “Merseyside model” whereby police treat violence against sex workers as a hate crime. It is in these examples of innovative practice despite a national and international criminalization agenda against sex workers, that human rights against a sexual minority group can be upheld.

Details

Special Issue: Problematizing Prostitution: Critical Research and Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-040-4

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2008

Teela Sanders

This paper aims to examine, from a global macro perspective, the relationships between commercial sex, regulatory system and shadow economies.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine, from a global macro perspective, the relationships between commercial sex, regulatory system and shadow economies.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on eight years of research in the sex industries and literature from other sources that explore the nuances of the economic and social organisation of the sex markets in different countries.

Findings

First, a four point continuum is presented, based on the following types of economies: legal formal; legal informal; illegal informal and illegal criminal. Second, challenging principles that the sex industry is only “demand” driven, this paper looks at the nature of the sex industry, examining the dynamics of supply in the context of a prolific global shadow sex economy. Third, the concept of “supply” is broadened out to refer not only to women involved in selling direct and indirect sexual services but the legitimate and illegitimate service industries that are ancillary to the sex industry: namely: advertising, marketing, leisure industries, security, policing and welfare.

Originality/value

Contributing to the cultural analysis of the sex industry and drawing on original ethnographic observations, this paper stresses the relevance of the “supply” side of the sex industry, including ancillary industries that support the sex markets in the shadow economies.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Abstract

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-956-4

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Abstract

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-956-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2008

Gudrun Vande Walle

The informal economy is more than the inverse of the formalised economy, but is a dynamic environment. It is less limited by legal rules, state control, bureaucracy or tax…

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Abstract

Purpose

The informal economy is more than the inverse of the formalised economy, but is a dynamic environment. It is less limited by legal rules, state control, bureaucracy or tax regulation. On the other hand the informal market is less visible than the regular economy. The purpose of this paper is to find out how informal markets are currently developing.

Design/methodology/approach

This contribution is based on a literature review of primarily European work from scholars active in different disciplinary fields, concentrating upon presentations made during the seminars given for the EU Framework 6 CRIMPREV programme. It is structured using a matrix of potentially interesting variables: disciplinary interaction and the need for a multidisciplinary discourse; the position of nation states as a fundamental variable for the existence of the informal economy; general global economic dynamics and their implications for the concept of the informal economy; the interplay of formal, informal and criminal markets; the functionalities of informal markets for the classic survival economy; the dangerousness of wrong perceptions of informal markets and finally the contribution of different methodologies to the knowledge of the informal economy.

Research limitations/implications

The matrix is incomplete and further input is welcome.

Originality/value

This paper could be a start for the comparison of analyses of informal markets in time and space, without the limitations of the classic categories such as organised crime and in limiting definitions.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part
Publication date: 20 October 2016

Abstract

Details

Special Issue: Problematizing Prostitution: Critical Research and Scholarship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-040-4

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Oscar D'Agnone

The purpose of this paper is to describe and summarize the recent emergence of NPS onto the drug market. To show the international and national responses, legal and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and summarize the recent emergence of NPS onto the drug market. To show the international and national responses, legal and guidance. To indicate some of the challenges NPS present to jurisdictions. To indicate some of the challenges NPS present to treatment agencies. To outline what is known about prevalence and effects.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative account of the substances becoming known and the response made by jurisdictions.

Findings

The use and effects of NPS are slowly becoming known and exchanged between jurisdictions and treatment agencies. The user group appears to differ from the “traditional” substance users groups with which agencies are familiar. The use of the internet is a characteristic of this new market and user group.

Research limitations/implications

New substances are constantly being identified. Previous treatment approaches may not be fully relevant to NPS. The new area of cognition enhancement is being gradually realized.

Practical implications

Treatment agencies need to develop new approaches, both to treat the effects of NPS use and to attract NPS users, who do not identify as “drug users”.

Social implications

A new user group appears to be emerging. Cognition enhancement is a feature of NPS composition and use/attraction.

Originality/value

An attempt to summarize existing understanding of NPS use and marketing and to predict future trends and needs.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

Keywords

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