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What's law got to do with it? how and why law matters in the regulation of sex work

Scoular, Jane (2010) What's law got to do with it? how and why law matters in the regulation of sex work. Journal of Law and Society, 37 (1). pp. 12-39. ISSN 1-4443-3362-3

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Abstract

Drawing on recent empirical work that considers the relationship between different legal approaches to the ‘problem’ of prostitution, this article argues that the frequently drawn distinction between apparently diametrically opposed positions, such as prohibitionism and legalization, is certainly less significant than is often assumed and may, in fact, be illusory. This lack of distinction raises serious questions as to law's role in regulating sex work. In response to claims that law is ‘merely’ symbolic in its influence, I argue that these similarities arise precisely because law does matter (albeit in a different way from that assumed by a sovereign-centred understanding of the legal complex), and offer a complex and critical account of the role of modern law in regulating sex work. This approach not only more accurately elucidates the ways in which law supports dominant structures, in this case neo-liberalism, but offers some optimism for its (albeit limited) potential to transform.

Item type: Article
ID code: 27113
Keywords: prostitution, sex work, modern law, Law of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform , Law (General), Sociology and Political Science, Law
Subjects: Law > Law of the United Kingdom and Ireland
Social Sciences > Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Law > Law (General)
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Law > Law
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Mr Stewart Smith
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2011 09:31
    Last modified: 22 Aug 2014 05:03
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/27113

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