Affecting the Frame: Risk, Vulnerability, and Sex Worker Subjectivities

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Sibley, Marcus Andrew




The recent changes in Canadian sex work legislation have brought significant attention to the issues of decriminalization. With the implementation of Bill C-36 (Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act) the legislative response to the Bedford decision, the government has re-criminalized sex work. Shifting the attention of the criminal justice system away from those who sell sex to those who purchase sex creates a dynamic that reconstitutes sex workers as vulnerable subjects. How then do sex work advocates and abolitionists play on this notion of vulnerability and its relationship to criminality and risk? Using data collected from the Bedford decision and Bill C-36 House of Commons and Senate hearings, I explore the ways risk and affect serve to reorient our understanding of the risky sex worker subject from that of a societal nuisance to a vulnerable victim or legitimate worker—positions which ultimately reify the grievability of sex workers’ lives.


Criminology and Penology
Women's Studies




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Legal Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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