Syllabus - "Selling Sex: Feminist Discourses on the Sex Work Industry" (Cornell College, Women's Studies Course)
We examined competing feminist discourses regarding women’s involvement/portrayal in the sex work industry. Grounded in feminist theoretical and methodological perspectives, our discussions were guided by the following considerations: (1) What are the competing feminist discourses regarding sex work, and what are the similarities/differences between these discourses? (2) How are these competing discourses deployed in a global context, and what issues/concerns arise within a global consideration of sex work? (3) Is sex work inherently degrading/objectifying to women, or can one allow that it may also be sexually liberating? (4) How might one’s social situatedness (i.e. social class, race/ethnicity, gender, education, non-sex worker, sex worker etc.) influence his/her perspective of sex work? How does this problematize these perspectives? (5) What other social discourses regarding sex work (e.g., freedom-of-speech, religious) clash and/or complement the feminist discourses? (6) How do discourses deployed by women outside of the sex work industry (i.e. academics, human rights activists) clash and/or complement those of sex workers?