Sex Work: Labour, Mobility, and Sexual Services

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Routledge, 2012 - Psychology - 166 pages
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Sex work has always attracted policy, public and prurient interest. Currently, legal frameworks in developed countries range from prohibition, through partial legalisation to active regulation. Globalisation has increased women’s mobility between developing and developed countries at the same time as women’s employment opportunities in the developed world are shifting. Family and intimate relationships are being transformed by changing demographics, shifting social mores and new intersections between intimate lives and global markets. Sex work is located at the nexus of new intimacies, shifting employment patterns and changing global mobilities.

This volume examines the working lives of contemporary sex workers; their practices, their labour market conditions and their engagement with domestic and international regulatory frameworks. It locates the voices and experiences of workers in Melbourne, Australia, at the centre of the sexual services industry as they reflect on brothels and independent escort work, on working conditions and managers, and on the relationships they form with clients. It offers a new account of sex work where women’s labour and mobility is understood as central in local and global imperatives to offer sexual services. It examines how these new imperatives intersect with, challenge and exceed existing regulatory frameworks for sex work.

Sex work: labour, mobility and sexual services draws together the everyday practices of sex workers and the broader global markets in which workers negotiate employment. In bringing together these two important intersecting areas, it offers a grounded and innovative account of sex work which will be of interest to academics and policy makers concerned with sex work, gender studies and the sociology of labour.

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About the author (2012)

JaneMaree Maher is an Associate Professor and currently Director in the Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research at Monash University, Australia. She is co-editor with Wendy Chavkin of The Globalization of Motherhood (Routledge, 2010) and also co-editor with Maggie Kirkman and Kay Torney Souter of The Fertile Imagination: Narratives of birth, fertility, and loss (Meridian, 2002).

Sharon Pickering is Professor of Criminology at Monash University, Australia. She researches irregular border crossing and has written in the areas of refugees and trafficking with a focus on gender and human rights. she currently leads a series of ARC projects focusing on the intersections of security and migration and is Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology.

Alison Gerard is Senior Lecturer in Justice Studies at Charles Sturt University, Australia. She is a lawyer with ten years experience in criminal, human rights and refugee law, both in Australia and Southeast Asia. Her doctural research examined the impact of the securitization of migration on refugee women seeking entry to the European Union. She recently co-authored an article on this research that has been published by the British Journal of Criminology.

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