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Norberg, Kathryn. 2017. „The History of Prostitution Now“. Journal of Women’s History 29 (1): 188–96. https://doi.org/10.1353/jowh.2017.0014.
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Fifteen years ago, Timothy Gilfoyle published a lengthy essay devoted to the history of prostitution in the American Historical Review. He observed that in the last quarter of the twentieth century, historians complicated the history of prostitution “in ways unanticipated a generation ago.”1 As the six books reviewed here demonstrate, innovation in the history of sex work continues. Historians are now studying “up” rather than “down,” concentrating on brothel madams and luxury establishments rather than streetwalkers and street solicitation. Scholars today point to changing patterns of consumption and leisure (including tourism), rather than altered labor relations (like industrialization) to explain changes in the sex trade. Historians now importantly address previously neglected issues like colonialism, state building, and race to produce a more complex picture of the sex worker of the past and her business. 
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Abstract
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What do discourses about prisons, trafficking and “prostitution” have in common? This paper analyses the ideological framework of social movements with respect to the rhetorical deployment of abolitionism. Critical to all of these movements is the concept of abolishing slavery. After tracing “the new abolitionism” of trafficking and prostitution back to the 19th Century Anglo American temperance movement, this paper will address the following: How are these social movements impacted by considerations of (social) class, religious fervor, gender, sexuality, citizenship, race, and ethnicity? Who is speaking for whom and why does it matter, politically and ethically? In what ways are today’s opponents of “prostitution” reproducing yesterday’s slogans of “white slavery”? It is argued that there are some fundamental differences between contemporary anti-prison movements and the anti-sex industry movement. Prisoners’ rights activists focus on the causes of mass incarceration and explore which demands best lead to overall decarceration; penal critics demand excarceration and a complete transformation of the penal system. Those who condemn “prostitution” rely heavily on the prosecution of “pimps” and “johns” with the goal of freeing the girls and women from “sexual slavery.” Finally, the paper will explain in detail why it is misplaced to label the movement against the sex industry as abolitionist rather than, say, prohibitionist.

Special Issue: The Governance of Commercial Sex: Global Trends of Criminalisation, Punitive Enforcement, Protection and Rights, Criminology and Criminal Justice 14. 

Abel, Gillian M. “A Decade of Decriminalization: Sex Work ‘down Under’ but Not Underground.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 14, no. 5 (November 1, 2014): 580–92. doi:10.1177/1748895814523024.

Costello, Robert, and Shady Saleh. “Book Review: The Punishment Imperative: The Rise and Fall of Mass Incarceration in America.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 14, no. 5 (November 1, 2014): 629–31. doi:10.1177/1748895814544425.

Kotiswaran, Prabha. “Beyond the Allures of Criminalization: Rethinking the Regulation of Sex Work in India.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 14, no. 5 (November 1, 2014): 565–79. doi:10.1177/1748895814542533.

Levy, Jay, and Pye Jakobsson. “Sweden’s Abolitionist Discourse and Law: Effects on the Dynamics of Swedish Sex Work and on the Lives of Sweden’s Sex Workers.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 14, no. 5 (November 1, 2014): 593–607. doi:10.1177/1748895814528926.

Pitcher, Jane, and Marjan Wijers. “The Impact of Different Regulatory Models on the Labour Conditions, Safety and Welfare of Indoor-Based Sex Workers.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 14, no. 5 (November 1, 2014): 549–64. doi:10.1177/1748895814531967.

Sanders, Teela, and Rosie Campbell. “Criminalization, Protection and Rights: Global Tensions in the Governance of Commercial Sex.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 14, no. 5 (November 1, 2014): 535–48. doi:10.1177/1748895814543536.

Scoular, Jane, and Anna Carline. “A Critical Account of a ‘creeping Neo-Abolitionism’: Regulating Prostitution in England and Wales.” Criminology and Criminal Justice 14, no. 5 (November 1, 2014): 608–26. doi:10.1177/1748895814543534.

Flawed Theory and Method in Studies of Prostitution
Author: Ronald Weitzer

Abstract:

In no areaof the social sciences has ideology contaminated knowledge more pervasively than in writings on the sex industry. Too often in this area, the canons of scientific inquiry are suspended
and research deliberately skewed to serve a particular political agenda. Much of this work has been done by writers who regard the sex industry as a despicable institution and who are active in campaigns to abolish it.

In this commentary, I examine several theoretical and methodological flaws in this literature, both generally and with regard to three recent articles in Violence Against Women. The articles in
question are by Jody Raphael and Deborah Shapiro (2004), Melissa Farley (2004), and Janice Raymond (2004). At least two of the authors (Farley and Raymond) are activists involved in the
antiprostitution campaign.


Read full article here.