Rowman and Littlefield International

Livable Intersections

Re/Framing Sex Work at the Frontline

By (author) Sara M. Kallock

Publication date:

25 January 2019

Length of book:

180 pages


Rowman & Littlefield International

ISBN-13: 9781786604477

What is it like to live a life that is impossible? For many sex workers, life is lived at the crossroads of exclusion and assimilation, a crossroads where one is beset by vulnerability and regulation, where one is simultaneously blamed, victimized, and infantilized. Within this context of heteronormativity, sex working experiences are defined by multiple and overlapping forms of marginalization. Social support services are widely thought to provide a crucial bulwark against such unlivable realities by empowering service users to manage (and even overcome) their oppressive circumstances. Yet, such services are themselves often entangled with the social, cultural, and political processes that engender the disavowal of “sex” as a form of “work” and the attendant marginalization of sex workers. Bringing together insights from Judith Butler and intersectionality, Livable Intersections: Re/Framing Sex Work at the Frontline investigates the dynamics of frontline policy practice and in livability offers a new vision for designing, implementing, and valuing sex worker support services.

This book offers insights to both the novice and rehearsed researcher as theoretical ideas stemming from the feminist ‘sex wars’ are broken down concisely, to offer a new perspective on understandings of sex work. Applying Butler’s concept of ‘livability’, this book offers an alternative, hopeful and fresh analysis of the possibilities in the relationship between sex workers and frontline professionals. Discourses are unpacked and boldly criticised as concepts like ‘partnership’ and ‘empowerment’ are dissected. Kallock destabilises mainstream thinking about the place of sex work in society, provoking critical engagement with traditional ideas and thinking how service delivery to sex workers can improve.