Listening to the Language of Sex Workers: An Analysis of Street Sex Worker Representations and Their Effects on Sex Workers and Society

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194013
Title:
Listening to the Language of Sex Workers: An Analysis of Street Sex Worker Representations and Their Effects on Sex Workers and Society
Author:
McCracken, Jill Linnette
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation argues that the material conditions of many street sex workers--the physical environments they live in and their effects on the workers' bodies, identities, and spirits--are represented, reproduced, and entrenched in the language surrounding their work. My research is an ethnographic case study of a local system that can be extrapolated to other subcultures and the construction of identities, while situating sex work and the industry as rhetorical constructions. My research offers an example of how an examination of the signs and symbols that comprise "material conditions" can be rhetorically analyzed in order to better understand how goals, agendas, interests, and ideologies are represented and implemented through language.Located central to my analysis are the street sex workers' voices. I use an ideological rhetorical analysis, or rhetorically--the study of how language shapes and is shaped by cultures, institutions, and the individuals within them, and ideologically--the identification and examination of the underlying assumptions of communicative interactions. I delineate how these material conditions are reproduced and, at times, subverted, and I offer an outline for modifying the discourse used in policy in ways that are more empowering and authentic to sex workers' lives.Policy makers, activists, and academics, among others, wrestle with complicated issues to analyze and write laws and policies and to design social services. Discourse is always at the center of these struggles. Because my study investigates the language of policy-making and the people who forge it, it has implications for ethics and policy in relation to gender studies, cultural studies, and ethnographic research.Examining the rhetorical constructions and interactions and their related effects on policy elucidates the discursive complexity that exists in meaning-making systems. This analysis also offers an explanation of how constructions can be made differently in order to achieve representations that are generated by the marginalized populations themselves, while placing responsibility for this marginalization on the society in which these people live.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
rhetorical and ideological analysis; ethnography; prostitution; sex work; material conditions; rhetorical constructions
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Rhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
McAllister, Ken

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleListening to the Language of Sex Workers: An Analysis of Street Sex Worker Representations and Their Effects on Sex Workers and Societyen_US
dc.creatorMcCracken, Jill Linnetteen_US
dc.contributor.authorMcCracken, Jill Linnetteen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation argues that the material conditions of many street sex workers--the physical environments they live in and their effects on the workers' bodies, identities, and spirits--are represented, reproduced, and entrenched in the language surrounding their work. My research is an ethnographic case study of a local system that can be extrapolated to other subcultures and the construction of identities, while situating sex work and the industry as rhetorical constructions. My research offers an example of how an examination of the signs and symbols that comprise "material conditions" can be rhetorically analyzed in order to better understand how goals, agendas, interests, and ideologies are represented and implemented through language.Located central to my analysis are the street sex workers' voices. I use an ideological rhetorical analysis, or rhetorically--the study of how language shapes and is shaped by cultures, institutions, and the individuals within them, and ideologically--the identification and examination of the underlying assumptions of communicative interactions. I delineate how these material conditions are reproduced and, at times, subverted, and I offer an outline for modifying the discourse used in policy in ways that are more empowering and authentic to sex workers' lives.Policy makers, activists, and academics, among others, wrestle with complicated issues to analyze and write laws and policies and to design social services. Discourse is always at the center of these struggles. Because my study investigates the language of policy-making and the people who forge it, it has implications for ethics and policy in relation to gender studies, cultural studies, and ethnographic research.Examining the rhetorical constructions and interactions and their related effects on policy elucidates the discursive complexity that exists in meaning-making systems. This analysis also offers an explanation of how constructions can be made differently in order to achieve representations that are generated by the marginalized populations themselves, while placing responsibility for this marginalization on the society in which these people live.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectrhetorical and ideological analysisen_US
dc.subjectethnographyen_US
dc.subjectprostitutionen_US
dc.subjectsex worken_US
dc.subjectmaterial conditionsen_US
dc.subjectrhetorical constructionsen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of Englishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairMcAllister, Kenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDitmore, Melissaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHea, Amy Kimmeen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberStevens, Sallyen_US
dc.identifier.proquest2282en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659748129en_US
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