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Sociological Research Online 21(4), November 2016: Peer Reviewed Special Section: Exploitation and Its Opposite. Researching the quality of working life in the sex industries

Guest Editors: Stef Adriaenssens, Giulia Garofalo Geymonat and Laura Oso

Articles:

Quality of Work in Prostitution and Sex Work: Introduction to the Special Section
Stef Adriaenssens, Giulia Garofalo Geymonat and Laura Oso

On Our Own Terms: The Working Conditions of Internet-Based Sex Workers in the UK
Teela Sanders, Laura Connelly and Laura Jarvis King

Work Conditions and Job Mobility in the Australian Indoor Sex Industry
Fairleigh Evelyn Gilmour

€Too Much Suffering’: Understanding the Interplay Between Migration, Bounded Exploitation and Trafficking Through Nigerian Sex Workers’ Experiences
Nicola Mai

Precarious or Protected? Evaluating Work Quality in the Legal Sex Industry
Alice Orchiston

Transnational Social Mobility Strategies and Quality of Work Among Latin-American Women Sex Workers in Spain
Laura Oso

Ambivalent Professionalisation and Autonomy in Workers’ Collective Projects: The Cases of Sex Worker Peer Educators in Germany and Sexual Assistants in Switzerland
Giulia Garofalo Geymonat and P.G. Macioti

All articles are freely accessible here.

Abstract
A large-scale study of working conditions in UK-based strip dancing clubs reveals that dancers are against de facto self-employment as it is defined and practised by management, but in favour of de jure self-employment that ensures sufficient levels of autonomy and control in the workplace. While dancers could potentially seek ‘worker’ or ‘employee’ status within the existing legal framework, their strong identification with the label ‘self-employed’ and their desire for autonomy will likely inhibit these labour rights claims. We propose an alternative avenue for improving dancers’ working conditions, whereby self-employed dancers articulate their grievances as a demand for decent work, pursued through licensing agreements between clubs and local authorities and facilitated by collective organization.
RESEARCH ON SEX WORK IN CANADA tends to analyse the ways in which the Canadian Criminal Code contributes to stigma, discrimination, and violence toward sex workers. (1) The negative implications of criminalization have been well documented in sexuality studies, women’s studies, policy studies, and criminal justice studies research, not to mention by the courts themselves. In September 2010, a pronouncement by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (2) ruled that the sections of the Criminal Code which seek to prohibit aspects of prostitution are not congruent with the principles of justice as protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (3) In effect, the ruling supported the decriminalization of many common work-related activities, for example: working from a fixed location, including one’s own home; hiring a driver or a bodyguard; and communicating in public for the purposes of engaging a client for services. The federal government appealed, and in March 2012 the Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision which again supported partial decriminalization. (4) The section of the decision regarding bawdy-houses includes a twelve month stay, which gives policy makers, politicians, sex workers, and labour organizers a limited amount of time to make recommendations and decisions about how to best regulate and organize indoor sex work.

While it is well documented that the criminalization of sex work increases harm and violence, the specific effects of criminalization on the organization of labour within the sex industry is considerably less documented. (5) As Becki Ross argues, “sex-free labour studies alongside work-free sexuality studies within Canadian social history has meant that the rich registers of ‘sexuality’ and ‘labour’ have rarely been placed systematically in relation to, and in tension with, one another.” (6) As such, this article broadens the scope of analysis related to sex work and criminalization by looking at its labour-related consequences.

Full article available here.

Sex Work, Office Work: Women Working Behind the Scenes in the US Adult Film Industry

Author: Chauntelle Anne Tibbals
Gender, Work & Organization. Volume 20, Issue 1, pages 20–35, January 2013

Abstract

Women currently working behind the scenes in the adult film industry both inform considerations of the contemporary experiences of sex work in the USA and shed some light on differential experiences of gendered workplace organizations. Based on ethnographic observations and informal interviews conducted at a typical adult film production company and on examining the industry’s historical development, I have found that a diverse range of occupations and occupational opportunities are available for women in the adult film industry and women workers in the US adult film industry experience their gendered workplace in unique ways. I suggest that this is due in part to the adult film industry’s wider social network, which has itself been shaped by the historical development of the adult film industry and the stigma of sex work.

Read the full article here.

Charrlotte Seib, Michael P. Dunne, Jane Fischer, Jackob M. Najman (2012): Predicting the Job Satisfaction of Female Sex Workers in Queensland, Australia, International Journal of Sexual Health, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp. 99-111.

Abstract

This study used a cross-sectional survey to examine job satisfaction and its correlates among 247 female sex workers working as private service providers, in licensed brothels, and in illegal sectors of the industry (mainly street-based workers). Overall, most sex workers reported positive job satisfaction. Satisfaction was higher in women working legally and was comparable with women from the general population. Multivariate analyses revealed that job satisfaction was significantly linked to women’s reasons for initially entering the industry. Sex workers’ age, education, marital status, length of time in the industry, and current working conditions were apparently less important for satisfaction.