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‘CATCHING LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE’; AN ETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF A SUPPORT SERVICE FOR SEX WORKERS

Taylor, Bethan (2018) ‘CATCHING LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE’; AN ETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF A SUPPORT SERVICE FOR SEX WORKERS. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

Though there is a growing body of literature focused on specialist sex work support, which suggests a move toward a more holistic approach, there is a paucity of research exploring the microprocesses of such support, which illuminate the complexity and variation that exist within it. Killet et al. (2016) argue for the importance of understanding the culture of a setting in order to explore its complexity. The overarching aim of this research is therefore:

To explore the lived culture of a support service for sex workers

This thesis is the result of an ethnographic research project, underpinned by a broadly critical realist framework, which sought to address this aim through carrying out participant observations, interviews, and document analysis in a sex work support service in the North of England. Using a broadly thematic approach to analysis, data collected in the form of field-notes and interview transcripts was grouped into two key themes, which demonstrate the importance of issues of power, role and relationship within the service.

The findings of this research demonstrate how the culture of the service studied is one of ambiguity and tension, where underlying ideology and the practices of support are sometimes contradictory. As a result, this thesis provides support for the significance of underlying ideology for ensuring clarity around programmatic goals, the practices needed to achieve these goals, and the roles of service-providers and service-users. The findings of this research also provide support for an expanded conceptualisation of a holistic approach, which addresses the multiple needs of sex workers, but also supports them as whole people, by acknowledging their multifaceted and complex identities.

Though it may not be possible to generalise the findings of this thesis, the issues raised may have significant implications for the policy and practices of sex work support services.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Depositing User: Rebecca Hill
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2019 13:11
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2019 13:11
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34811

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