Performing Agency: A Photovoice Project with Women Who Engage in Sex Work

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Fitton, Chantelle
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Health Sciences
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Health Sciences
Seven women engaged in various types of sex work shared their stories and their art using photovoice to address the question: What are your experiences doing sex work in Lethbridge, Alberta? Participants created specific sex work identities, which provided emotional protection and allowed them to avoid conflict with their other roles such as partner or mother. Participants controlled the level of intimacy they permitted with their clients by distancing themselves through substance use and emotional disengagement, or allowing a certain level of intimacy through deep acting. Participants also enacted agency daily within structural barriers such as stigma, violence, and the criminal justice and social service systems; facilitated or hindered in their actions by these social structures and their individual intersections of race, class, age, ability, and social capital. Recommendations for changes to service provision in Lethbridge, as well as limitations of this research and directions for future research are discussed.
Identity , Intimacy (Psychology) , Prostitution , Social sciences