Running head: Reading presentation 1 Reading presentation Name Lecturer University Course Date
Running head: Reading presentation 2 Sex work has now been an established area of study such as male sex work,adult entertainment premises, exotic dancing and male clients. Despite of theemerging trends in study of sex work it is still problematic to get informationregardless of the openness of the topic. This topic has certain characteristics hencemaking the research into it complicated and dangerous, for example gettinginformation about this topic is sensitive due to the stigmatised nature of the work.Research is also compromised by the emotions of the researcher before going forthe interview due to fear of the unknown for the characters. The research that amsummarising is about pay for sex which commenced on September 2006.It clearlyshows the emotions of the researcher with the interactions of the participants. Researching sex has been fraught with challenges due to the perceiveddangerousness and stigma of participants and the hindrances in reaching hiddenpopulation. Grounded in the lived experiences of 55 women operating in a range ofsettings (from saunas, escort agencies and streets to private flats) in the city ofBirmingham, this fascinating study offers a real insight into the more empiricallysignificant sectors of the sex industry. Avoiding what Weitzer calls ‘gratuitousmoralizing’ (2000: 6), a tendency all too common in this field, and in keeping with atradition of sound ethnographic practice, Sanders looks beyond the ascription ofdeviancy to uncover the more normative and routine elements of sex-work culture.In providing an empirically detailed yet analytically nuanced account of theorganizational features of commercial sex this work complements an already richbody of scholarship in this vein (O’Connell Davidson, 1998; Brewis and Linsted,2000; West, 2000).
Running head: Reading presentation 3 Saunders refuses to allow structural constraints to collapse and flattensubjects who are presented as sentient and reflexive, resisting strictures imposedupon them and attempting to control their circumstances by assessing risks,adapting and changing practices as they learn from their own and others’ sharedexperiences. By the same token the author is not naïve and is careful not tooverplay the ascription of agency, taking care to balance accounts with instanceswhen structural divisions and occupational contexts hinder an individual’s ability tocontrol outcomes. By combining a socio-psychological with a socio-structuralanalysis, Sanders is able to overcome the classic individual vs.structure/victimization vs. autonomy dualism. By viewing women as subjects managing risks in prostitution, rather than as‘risky subjects’ per se, Saunders’s work joins a tradition of post-structuralist workwhich marks a departure from previous studies on prostitution which focus upon anuncritical acceptance of negative criminological and/or epidemiological categoriesand, in doing so, (sometimes unconsciously, sometimes not) consolidate andlegitimatize increased penal and medicalized forms of discipline and control. She moves away from modernist discourse, locating her study in theliterature of governance, risk and regulation. The discussion of risk becomes adevice for consideration of agency and control in the context of the individuals’interaction with structure. At the same time Sanders’s work provides empirical depthto an often abstract discussion of risk and social theory, serving to highlight theimportance of gender, class and location. This study is an important and rich insight into sex workers’ assessment ofharms, and a prelude to a subsequent book on clients. While health is depicted as
Running head: Reading presentation 4controllable, violence is less predictable and careful mechanisms employed byworkers including information sharing help to make the indoor market safer. Themost difficult risk is the emotional and psychological consequences, requiringconsiderable labour to contain. The legal and social sanctions (Zatz 1997) that surround sex work are seenas structures which undermine the women’s efforts to manage risk, especiallycriminalization. The continued failure to appreciate the negative structuring effectsof law is a vital insight into policy failures. We should be wary of protection premised upon a rhetoric of victimhoodrather than a commitment to address the real structural issues that affect women insex work as detailed by women themselves. This book offers valuable insight intotheir experiences which inform suggestions for reform to foster and increase theircapacity for control. Motivations for purchasing sex have often been the foci of studies. Xantidiaand McCabe interviewed 66 clients from brothels in Melbourne, Australia and foundone subset of men were motivated by the need for intimacy while another groupexplained their behaviour by the need for novelty and variety in sexual encounters.Monto found that college graduates were more likely to seek the excitement of illicitsex, while non-graduates are more likely to report difficulties in forming conventionalrelationships. Research suggests that men seek commercial sex not only for theirsexual needs. From interviews with 30 men who defined themselves as regularusers, Holzman and Pine found that men were attracted to prostitution oftenbecause of the need for companionship or what Lever and Dolnick have termed theillusion of intimacy. The role of the emotional experience in the commercial
Running head: Reading presentation 5transaction for the purchaser is also emphasised by Plumridge who also describehow a subset of clients they interviewed were convinced that even when paying forsex there was a mutual exchange of emotional and sexual pleasure.
Running head: Reading presentation 6ReferencesTeela S. (2005). Researching the online sex work community. London. London printing press and publishers.