Chapter

Out on the streets and out of control? Drug-using sex workers and the prostitution strategy

Margaret Melrose

in Regulating sex for sale

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421067
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303169 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847421067.003.0005
Out on the streets and out of control? Drug-using sex workers and the prostitution strategy

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This chapter critically considers the assumptions underlying policy proposals for sex-working drug users and drug-using sex workers in New Labour's prostitution strategy. It argues that by conflating sex work with other social problems, particularly drug addiction (see, for example, Cusick and Berney, 2005; Melrose, 2006a), the strategy conveniently sidesteps the wider structural problems associated with involvement in street sex work, such as poverty, social exclusion, and homelessness. The chapter explains that what the strategy offers are punitive responses that provide ‘individualized solutions to de-contextualized social problems’ (Phoenix, 2003), rather that structural solutions to socially contextualized social problems (Buchanan, 2004; Cusick and Berney, 2005; Melrose, 2006a).

Keywords: drug users; sex workers; New Labour; social problems; drug addiction; street sex work; poverty; social exclusion; homelessness

Chapter.  5861 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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