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Demystifying Sex Work and Sex Workers

Wagadu, an open access online feminist journal, has released a special issue ‘Demystifying sex work and sex workers.’ With articles from activist scholars the special issue, focuses on the everyday lives of sex workers.

Susan Dewey of the University of Wyoming who edited the issue explains, While recent years have witnessed a dramatic outpouring of feminist scholarship that situates sex work within its broader socioeconomic and political contexts cross-culturally, there remains a tendency for academic scholarship to unconsciously reinforce the social stigmatization of sex workers by depicting them solely through their income-earning activities. This burgeoning research has convincingly demonstrated that sex work is embedded in a complex social matrix that often centers upon sex workers’ perceptions of their individual choices and responsibilities…Public policy on sex work is often shown to be seriously lacking when contextualized within the broader realities of many sex workers’ everyday life experiences throughout the world. As such, contributors to this special issue offer sound ethnographic evidence that clearly demonstrates the global need for policy and legal reform with respect to sex work.”

Table of contents below with links to the journal articles on the Wagadu website.

Editorial, Susan Dewey, PDF HTML

‘Yeah, he’s my Daddy’: Linguistic Constructions of Fictive Kinships in a Street-Level Sex Work Community, Kathleen Weinkauf, Abstract PDF HTML

Parenting and money making: Sex work and women’s choices in urban Uganda, Flavia Zalwango, Lina Eriksson, Janet Seeley, Sarah Nakamanya, Judtih Vandepitte, Heiner Grosskurth, Abstract PDF HTML

Complexity of Female Sex Workers’ Collective Actions in Postsocialist China, Tiantian Zheng, Abstract PDF HTML

Fare Tales and Fairy Tails: How Gay Sex Tourism is Shaping the Brazilian Dream, Gregory Mitchell, Abstract PDF HTML

Agents or Victims? Youth Sex Workers on the U.S.-Mexico Border, Yasmina Katsulis, Abstract PDF HTML

Our Lady of Help: Sex, Tourism and Transnational Movements in Copacabana, Thaddeus Gregory Blanchette, Ana Paula Silva, Abstract PDF HTML

Focusing on the child, not the prostitute: shifting the emphasis in accounts of child prostitution, Heather Kate Montgomery, Abstract PDF HTML

“Some of Them, They Do Right; Some of Them, They Do Wrong”: Moral Ambiguity and the Criteria for Help among Street Sex Workers, Jill Linnette McCracken, Abstract PDF HTML

Illegal Lives, Loves, and Work: The Effects of Criminalization on Sex Workers in Canada, Emily van der Meulen, Abstract PDF HTML

The Consequences of Arbitrary and Selective Enforcement of Prostitution Laws, Norma Jean Almodovar, Abstract PDF HTML

Negotiating contradictory expectations: Stories from ‘secret’ sex workers in Andhra Pradesh, Annie George, Abstract PDF HTML

Writing sex work online: the case of Belle de Jour, Debra Ferreday, Abstract PDF HTML

Sex work for the soul, Lucinda Blissbomb, Abstract PDF HTML

From the Field, Various Authors, PDF HTML

Review of Lydia’s open door: Inside Mexico’s most modern brothel by Patty Kelly, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009, Jenny Heineman, PDF HTML

Review of Economies of desire: Sex and tourism in Cuba and the Dominican Republic by Amalia Cabezas, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009, Erica Lorraine Williams, PDF HTML

Review of The dancing girls of Lahore: Selling love and saving dreams in Pakistan’s ancient pleasure district by Louise Brown, London, Harper Perennial, 2009, Treena Orchard, PDF HTML

Review of What’s money got to do with it? Risky behavior in commercial sex work in Managua, Nicaragua by Alys Willman, Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag, 2009, Chimaraoke Izugbara, PDF HTML

Review of The state of sex: Tourism, sex and sin in the new American heartland by Barbara G. Brents, Crystal A. Jackson and Kathryn Hausbeck, New York: Routledge, 2010, Lorraine Nencel, PDF HTML