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Sex Work, Policy & Politics

Second Edition

November 2017 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The field of sex work has undergone a massive expansion in the past ten years. In this new Second Edition, three leading researchers come together to provide an interdisciplinary outline of sex work. This book provides comprehensive coverage of key areas common to the study of the female sex industry, as well as considering issues relating to male and transgender sex workers, young people who are sexually exploited, and migrant sex workers. It also includes discussion of more recent forms of commercial sex such as Internet-based sex work.

International in perspective, Prostitution: Sex Work, Policy & Politics combines sociological approaches with criminology and criminal justice studies, social policy, health research, and sexuality studies.
Chapter 1 - The Sociology of Sex Work
Chapter 2 - The Cultural Context of Commerce and Sex
Chapter 3 - Sex Workers and Sex Work
Chapter 4 - Children, Young People and CSEC
Chapter 5 - Buying Sexual Services
Chapter 6 - Sex Workers, Labour Rights and Unionization
Chapter 7 - Crime Justice and the Sex Industry in the UK
Chapter 8 - Communities, Services and Welfare
Chapter 9 - International Models of Regulating Sex Work
Chapter 10 - Globalisation and the Sex Trade
Chapter 11 - Researching the Sex Industry

The second edition of Prostitution: Sex Work, Policy and Politics provides a comprehensive account of the current issues surrounding sex work. This edition provides readers with an up to date insight into, not only the problems encompassed for female sex workers but also those for male and transgender workers. The key areas enclosed in this edition include: legality, regulation, research and ethical dilemmas, young people, sex worker’s rights, purchasing sexual services and the globalisation of the sex industry. Expertly created by Teela Sanders, Maggie O’Neill and Jane Pitcher this textbook is essential for any student studying sex work! 

Emily Sherman
Student - University of Leicester

A superb introduction to the sociology of prostitution.  The book synthesizes the best research on sex workers, their customers, legal issues, youth involvement, migration, and struggles for rights, and shows that prostitution is much more richly variegated than is commonly thought.      

Ronald Weitzer
George Washington University

Benefitting from their vast collective experience as researchers and advocates for sex workers’ rights, the authors of this text have produced an authoritative, balanced and accessible guide to a topic often shrouded in myth. Avoiding simplistic assertions that all sex work is exploitative, or conversely that prostitution is a job like any other, the book draws on an impressive range of primary sources to describe the complexity and contingency of contemporary sex work. An impressive book, and one that should be appreciated by students and researchers alike for its sympathetic and sensitive handling of its subject matter.

Phil Hubbard
King's College London

In this 2nd edition of Prostitution, Sanders, O’Neill and Pitcher provide an excellent, comprehensive and updated overview of sex work. These top researchers provide us with an insight into contemporary debates on perspectives of sex work, regulation of sex workers and/or third parties, and how sex work is transforming in an increasingly globalized world.  They also draw on their expertise to provide sound advice on methodological approaches to prospective sex work researchers on how to conduct rigorous and ethical research in the field of sex work. This book should be the go-to resource for students and anyone else wanting to broaden their knowledge on sex work.

Gillian Abel
University of Otago

A well considered, thought provoking and comprehensive study which, refreshingly, gives due regard to male/transgender sex workers and exploitation. A must read for policing, criminal investigation and criminology students. It would also be a beneficial read for those in the health and social care service

Ms Tina Billington-Hughes - De Montfort University
Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, De Montfort University
December 11, 2018

Very interseting aspects to this text. Gives the reader a clear level of knowledge.

Miss sharron stillyards
health and social care, North Lindsey College
January 29, 2018

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1 - The Sociology of Sex Work

Teela Sanders

Teela Sanders is Professor of Criminology at the University of Leicester specializing in the cross-sections between gender, crime and justice. She has researched areas relating to the sex industry for 15 years producing eight books and many articles. Her current projects look at digital technologies and the sex industry ( with a strong impact agenda around netreach and safety guidance for sex workers. She is a strong supporter of Participatory Action Research methods which underpin her research endeavours, working alongside the sex work community to ensure evidence-based policy speaks to the rights agenda. Other... More About Author

Maggie O'Neill

Maggie O’Neill is Chair in Sociology/Criminology in the Department of Sociology, University of York and has conducted participatory and feminist work on sex work with sex workers, practitioners, communities, artists and other researchers since 1989. Her inter-disciplinary research career has developed along a threefold path: the development of cultural, criminological and feminist theory; the development of innovative methodologies for doing social research – including visual, biographical and performative (walking) methodologies (ethno-mimesis); and the development of praxis (policy) interventions in practice and policy. She co-founded... More About Author

Jane Pitcher

Jane Pitcher completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Social Sciences at Loughborough University which explored the working experiences of sex workers in different indoor settings in Great Britain, drawing on in-depth inter­views with adult female, male and transgender sex workers. She has more than 20 years’ research and evaluation expertise in voluntary, academic and public sector organizations, including recently working on a study of internet-based sex work, Beyond the Gaze, with co-researchers at the universities of Leicester and Strathclyde and is co-author of Internet Sex Work: Beyond the Gaze (Palgrave 2017). She has undertaken... More About Author

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