Street Sex Workers' Discourse

Realizing Material Change Through Agential Choice

By Jill McCracken

© 2013 – Routledge

240 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138952515
pub: 2015-09-08
US Dollars$44.99
Hardback: 9780415887076
pub: 2013-04-12
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

Incorporating the voices and insights of street sex workers through personal interviews, this monograph argues that the material conditions of many street workers — the physical environments they live in and their effects on the workers’ bodies, identities, and spirits — are represented, reproduced, and entrenched in the language surrounding their work. As an ethnographic case study of a local system that can be extrapolated to other subcultures and the construction of identities, this book disrupts some of the more prevalent academic and lay understandings about street prostitution by providing a thorough analysis of the material conditions surrounding street work and their connection to discourse. McCracken offers an explanation of how constructions can be made differently in order to achieve representations that are generated by the marginalized populations themselves, while placing responsibility for this marginalization on the society in which these people live.


"The book’s primary strength lies in its respectful, careful consideration of perspectives gleaned from both women involved in street-based sex work as well as those with professional or activist investment in the issue. There is a serious dearth, in the sex work research literature, of critical inquiry into criminal justice and social services professionals’ beliefs and practices, and McCracken’s book is an important first step toward further exploration of this neglected topic."

Susan Dewey, Assistant Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies, University of Wyoming, in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books

Table of Contents

1. Quotidian Rhetoric Creates Meaning Through Collage 2. Who is the Victim: The Neighborhood or the Woman? 3. Is She a Criminal, a Victim, or a Victim of the Criminal Justice System? 4. "An Opportunity to Change": Responsibility and Choice 5. Systemic Violence Perpetuates Victim Status 6. Releasing Agential Choice from Cages of Oppression. Appendix A: Participants. Appendix B: Research Process and Layers of Data. Appendix C: Number of Times Terms Included in Newspaper and Participant Interviews Corpora.

About the Author

Jill McCracken is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Society

The social sciences continue to be transformed and enriched by analysis which takes gender, and the ways in which gender and society interact, to be of vital, defining importance. This series is new and broadly based, and will publish high-level contributions from across the disciplines.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Human Sexuality
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General