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Protection for whom and from what? Canadian sex work legislation and competing narratives of structure and agency

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Title: Protection for whom and from what? Canadian sex work legislation and competing narratives of structure and agency
Author: Wilson, Ashley
Department: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Program: Public Issues Anthropology
Advisor: Kawano, Satsuki
Abstract: This thesis investigates the relationship between agency and social structures based on narratives on sex work provided during a series of meetings where the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (Bill C-36) was being reviewed in 2014. The meeting participants were Department of Justice representatives; Members of Parliament, and; expert witnesses. Bill C-36 is intended to protect of sex workers, but this thesis reveals that the provision of protection is reliant on their commitment to exiting sex work. The dominant discourse employed during the meetings established sex workers as invariably exploited by individuals who purchase sexual services and underestimated the impact of structural and systemic violence that makes sex work a viable work option. In sum, the discourses of sex work that emerged reproduced perceptions of sex workers as victims rather than workers with diverse class and gender identities who have varying degrees of control over their career choices.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/11498
Date: 2017-08
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