'We all have one': Exit plans as a professional strategy in sex work
Ham, Julie; Gilmour, Fairleigh
The idea of ‘exiting’ the sex industry plays a powerful symbolic role in the feminist debates around the morality, legitimacy and regulation of sex work. Drawing on interviews with 39 women sex workers in Australia and Canada, we explore three key contrasts between dominant narratives and interventions that frame ‘exiting’ as escape from trauma or exploitation, and sex workers’ assessments of ‘exiting’ as a personal or professional strategy. First, we explore sex workers’ perceptions of sex work as temporary work. Second, we analyse the symbiosis between exit plans and current work practices. Third, we examine workers’ assessment of the value of ‘exiting’ sex work in the context of changing market forces within the sex industry, the ‘square’ labour market (or non-sex work sectors) and exiting interventions (i.e. programmes to assist workers in leaving sex work).
Publisher: SAGE Journals
Keywords: employment transitions; exiting; exit plans; sex work; work conditions; gender and work
Research Type: Journal Article
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