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Seminar: "Sex work, work and women as workers: beyond definition debates"

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Location: R1.13

A seminar on 'Sex work, work and women as workers: beyond definition debates' is being given by JaneMaree Maher from the Centre for Women's Studies and Gender Research (Monash) on Thursday February 18th in R1.13.

The seminar will be followed by wine, soft drinks and nibbles.

This event is one of a series of events during JaneMaree's visit to Warwick. All are welcome to attend and there is no need to register.


Consistent debates over the validity of defining sex work as work have defined social and regulatory responses and, to some extent, mean that the 'sex' aspect of sex work tends to dominate discussions about work in this diverse industry. In this paper, drawing on a number of recent empirical projects conducted within the School of Social Sciences at Monash University, I focus on women's work practices, and how women negotiate the regulations and conditions of their sex work workplaces. From this data, I argue that women's acounts of their sex work are very often pragmatic, focussed on financial gain and on work/life sustainability. Debates about work or not work are not relevant to women seeking to optimise their time and labours in the sexual services industry. I argue more attention needs to be directed towards women's work rights and opportunities, as women workers themselves are suggesting. Overall, persistent discussions about the status of sex work act as a form of exclusion and stigma that limits positive forms of reulation and rssponse to women's aspirations and objecrives as they work in sex work.

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