Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9324-7971

Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

Gender and Women's Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Tice

Second Advisor

Dr. Melissa Stein

Abstract

This intersectional project seeks to understand the complex labor, social lives, and community building of online sex workers. Building on the work of foundational sex work researchers, this project utilizes in-depth interviews, a survey, social media posts, and published writing and research from online sex workers to understand how marginalization and identity impacts participation and success in online sex work. Providing analysis on how race, gender, class, and ability intersect in the digital sexual marketplace, this project critiques the rise of neoliberal feminism in sex work spaces that stems from the centering of white and otherwise privileged sex workers using the theory of assuagement work. Furthermore, this project seeks to trouble the carceral feminist framework of “sex work abolitionists” who have led campaigns to pass new legislation further criminalizing direct sex work and extending this criminalization to online spaces through theorizing the technosocial death of sex working activists and artists in digital communities. Ultimately, this project provides an analysis on the current challenges that sex workers face from within and outside of their communities and points toward decriminalization as a necessary first step for liberation and an equitable future.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.361

Available for download on Wednesday, August 17, 2022

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