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Article: Strategic in/visibility: Does agency make sex workers invisible?

TitleStrategic in/visibility: Does agency make sex workers invisible?
Authors
Keywordsstigma
Agency
sex workers
regulation
in/visibility
Issue Date2014
Citation
Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2014, v. 14, n. 3, p. 298-313 How to Cite?
Abstract© The Author(s) 2013. This article examines the links between in/visibility, agency and mobility through the narratives of 55 predominantly indoor sex workers interviewed in Melbourne, Australia, where state government regulations permit some forms of sex work under a licensing framework. This article explores the tensions around the requirement for visibility in the regulation of sex work, the utility of ‘strategic’ invisibility in the lived realities of sex work and the discursive ‘invisibilizing’ of sex workers’ agency in anti-prostitution discourses. For the workers we interviewed, ‘strategic invisibility’ was an agentic strategy that prevented stigma and protected social, economic and geographical mobility within and outside the sex industry. In Melbourne, workers’ careful management of their ‘invisibility’ as sex workers contrasted with the state’s harm minimization framework that insists on sex workers’ visibility within healthcare and licensing systems. This article draws on empirical data to suggest that regulation through licensing can both alleviate and contribute to vulnerabilizing contexts of sex work, providing useful lessons to those considering a similar system of regulation.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/214043
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.754
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.718

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHam, Julie-
dc.contributor.authorGerard, Alison-
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-19T13:41:38Z-
dc.date.available2015-08-19T13:41:38Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationCriminology and Criminal Justice, 2014, v. 14, n. 3, p. 298-313-
dc.identifier.issn1748-8958-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/214043-
dc.description.abstract© The Author(s) 2013. This article examines the links between in/visibility, agency and mobility through the narratives of 55 predominantly indoor sex workers interviewed in Melbourne, Australia, where state government regulations permit some forms of sex work under a licensing framework. This article explores the tensions around the requirement for visibility in the regulation of sex work, the utility of ‘strategic’ invisibility in the lived realities of sex work and the discursive ‘invisibilizing’ of sex workers’ agency in anti-prostitution discourses. For the workers we interviewed, ‘strategic invisibility’ was an agentic strategy that prevented stigma and protected social, economic and geographical mobility within and outside the sex industry. In Melbourne, workers’ careful management of their ‘invisibility’ as sex workers contrasted with the state’s harm minimization framework that insists on sex workers’ visibility within healthcare and licensing systems. This article draws on empirical data to suggest that regulation through licensing can both alleviate and contribute to vulnerabilizing contexts of sex work, providing useful lessons to those considering a similar system of regulation.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofCriminology and Criminal Justice-
dc.subjectstigma-
dc.subjectAgency-
dc.subjectsex workers-
dc.subjectregulation-
dc.subjectin/visibility-
dc.titleStrategic in/visibility: Does agency make sex workers invisible?-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/1748895813500154-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84907438866-
dc.identifier.volume14-
dc.identifier.issue3-
dc.identifier.spage298-
dc.identifier.epage313-
dc.identifier.eissn1748-8966-

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