Edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts
Chapter 28: Sex work
This chapter provides an overview of the feminist debates on sex work and shows how the concepts and insights formulated therein can be operationalized under the framework of gendered political economy. The chapter covers three feminist models: abolitionism, sex radicalism, and sex labourism. Each of these offers gender International Political Economy (IPE) scholars a distinct perspective on domestic and global sex markets, but also poses significant potential limitations, which are discussed. To demonstrate one sense in which this theoretical analysis can be operationalized in empirical study, the author outlines her research on how these feminist models of sex work are adopted and adapted in the discourses of frontline health and social workers in the UK. The chapter closes by calling the readership to consider the role of “global” frontline workers in future scholarship.
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