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Socio-cultural risk? reporting on a qualitative study with female street-based sex workers

journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-06, 01:06 authored by M Leaker, Priscilla Dunk-WestPriscilla Dunk-West
Risk narratives are of increasing importance in contemporary social life in that they help in understanding and anticipating the shifts that characterise our late modern landscape. Our qualitative research explores risk as it relates to violence toward street-based sex workers in a suburban Australian setting. Female street-based sex workers represent a highly stigmatised and marginalised group. International studies report that they experience high levels of sexual violence perpetrated by male clients and our empirical work with street-based sex workers in Adelaide, South Australia concurs with this finding. Despite many creative and specialized skills workers reported drawing upon to minimise the risk of violence to themselves, we argue that a socio-cultural lens is vital to viewing risk in this context. We argue that in order to effect change, risk must be disembedded from increasingly individualized discourses, since it is through the personalisation of risk that violence becomes legitimised as an occupational hazard in street-based sex work.

History

Journal

Sociological Research Online

Volume

16

Article number

ARTN 9

ISSN

1360-7804

eISSN

1360-7804

Language

English

Issue

4

Publisher

SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD