The lived experiences of street-based sex workers in Woodstock, Cape Town

Grobbelaar-Lenoble, Irene (2019-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

English Abstract: This study presents ‘Participatory Action’ based research, combined with first person narration and lived experiences, that was conducted with street-based sex workers, based in Woodstock, Cape Town, between 2015 and 2017. The study commences with a historical account of sex work in Cape Town and the ensuing legislation that governed it, together with a brief overview of contemporary legislation regarding sex work. As I demonstrate, the lack of personal narrative afforded to sex workers coincides with forms of censorship that pervade state archives and that largely exclude sex workers from public memory. Secondly, attention is drawn to the importance of having the opportunity to narrate personal experiences and autobiographical accounts in the public domain in an attempt to destabilise stereotypes and myths around sex workers. Sarah Pink’s (2007) methodology of ‘walking with participants’ is important in this regard, as it informs the collaborative research that I conducted. As this study demonstrates, this collaboration between myself and the sex workers who participated in this study allows for a space where alternative discourses on sex work can potentially contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the identity and living environments of sex workers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING:Hierdie is ’n studie wat fokus op ‘deelneemende aksie navorsing’ en behels straatgebaseerde sekswerkers en hulle geleefde ervarings en outobiografiese herringeringe wat tussen 2015 en 2017 in Woodstock, Kaapstad opgeneem is. Die studie begin met 'n historiese oorsig van sekswerk in Kaapstad en die daaropvolgende wetgewing wat dit reguleer, asook 'n kort oorsig van huidige wetgewing rakende sekswerk. Soos die studie demonstreer, val die gebrek aan persoonlike narratiewe van sekswerkers saam met vorms van sensuur uit die staatsargiewe, wat sekswerkers grootliks uit die openbare geheue uitsluit. Tweedens word aandag gevestig op die belangrikheid om die geleentheid te skep om persoonlike ervarings en outobiografiese stories in die openbare domein te vertel in 'n poging om stereotipes en mites rondom sekswerkers te aan te vat. Sarah Pink (2007) se metodologie van 'loop met deelnemers' is belangrik in hierdie verband, en pas in by die samewerkende navorsing wat ek gedoen het. Soos hierdie studie demonstreer, kan die samewerking tussen myself en die sekswerkers wat aan hierdie studie deelgeneem het, 'n ruimte skep waar alternatiewe diskoerse oor sekswerk moontlik kan bydra tot 'n meer nuanseerde begrip van die identiteit en leefomgewings van sekswerkers.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106098
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