CFP #AAG2018. ‘Geographies of Sex, Sexuality and Sex Work: Myths, Imaginaries and Realities’. New Orleans, April 10-14 2018

 

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Paul Maginn, Erin Sanders-Mcdonagh and I are pleased to announce the call for papers for this year’s American Association of Geographers Conference in New Orleans in April next year (see more details here: http://www.aag.org/cs/events/event_detail?eventId=1258 ).  Although a geography conference, it is a very interdisciplinary event and we welcome submissions of abstracts from all perspectives on sex, sexuality and sex work.  We have run special sessions on these themes for the last few years at this conference and it is always a really engaging and enjoyable event.  We have also been fortunate in the past to secure some contributory funding for sex workers to attend and present from the conference enrichment fund, and would endeavour to do so again.

Do get in touch if you would like some clarification before submitting something.  The deadline is 16th October to submit an abstract.

 

ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS CONFERENCE

NEW ORLEANS, 2018

#GEOSEX18 CALL FOR ABSTRACTS/PAPERS

 

Geographies of Sex, Sexuality and Sex Work:

Myths, Imaginaries and Realities

In the past decade questions about sex, sexuality and sex work have come to dominate media, political and social debates. These debates have seen the tectonic plates of ‘conservatism’ and ‘liberalism’ collide and sheer against one another. There is considerable variation in the dynamics of such relations across national and international boundaries. In the predominantly Catholic country of Ireland, for example, a referendum on marriage equality saw the LGBTQ community granted the same rights as heterosexual couples. In Northern Ireland (NI), however, the Protestant-dominated local Assembly has thus far steadfastly refused to pass legislation on marriage equality five times. The failure to pass this legislation has been due largely to opposition from the largest political party in NI –the Democratic Unionist Party – who has effectively vetoed the issue each time it has to a vote. And, in Australia the current Liberal Government has prevaricated on the issue of marriage equality by agreeing to hold a non-binding postal plebiscite on the issue rather than letting the Parliament decide on the issue.

On the matter of sex work, some nations – e.g. Canada, France, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – have recently introduced legislation that criminalises the purchase of commercial sex services in the name of protecting (female) sex workers and victims of human trafficking. This legislation was introduced in these jurisdictions following major campaigning by conservative politicians, religious organisations, NGOs and radical feminist organisations often working together. Relatedly, other state actors have sought to prohibit access to pornography by framing the consumption of adult entertainment as an issue that affects social and mental well-being. For example, participants at the 2016 Republican National Convention in the USA suggested that viewing pornography constituted a ‘public health crisis’. In the UK the government has recently sought to introduce age verification mechanisms and regulations in order to prevent people from viewing particular sexual acts online.

All the while, the consumption of online (heteronormative) pornography continues to grow year-on-year as data from one of the world’s largest free porn websites reveals each year. There is relatively little publicly available data on the consumption of non-heteronormative types of porn, although anecdotal evidence points to significant growth in “feminist-porn and alt-porn”. Camming has also becoming an increasingly popular mode of adult entertainment, with an estimated 20,000 performers online in the US at any given time. Even professional adult performers now engage in cam-work (and other forms of adult entertainment such as stripping and feature dancing) as a means of generating supplementary income due to the de-industrialisation of the porn industry in the wake of free online porn hosting sites. New and improved technologies have therefore created alternative possibilities for sex work landscapes.

Sexual and gender identity have also been the focus of much heated debate, especially in the last 5 years as debates about transgenderism have become more prominent. The increasing visibility/audibility of transgender people and issues related to trans rights have, in some cases, resulted in moral panics about trans people being in public spaces and using public facilities, especially toilets. Ultimately, trans folk have endured stigma and stereotypes because of their gendered/sexual identities and have been subject to discrimination and a denial of their human rights.

Advances in digital technology and the ‘app-ification’ of smart phones have had a profound impact on the socio-spatial dynamics of human sexuality and commericalised forms of sexual services. The emergence of dating websites, online escort agencies and personal ad sites, hook-up apps and web-camming for personal and commercial purposes have enhanced the opportunity for direct and indirect intimate and risqué experiences. Similarly, the rise of virtual reality, smart sex toys and sex robots have raised various questions about the future direction of human, gender and sexual relations.

In light of the highly complex and dynamic sexual landscapes that characterize the 21st century, this special session – #GeoSex18 – calls for papers that offer critical analyses on a range of myths, imaginaries and realities pertaining to sex, sexuality and sex work that speak to one or more of the following broad topics:

  • Community, diversity and mobility within the sex industry;
  • Community, diversity and mobility within the LGBT community;
  • Gender/sexual identities and fluidities;
  • Sexual dissidents, activism and advocacy;
  • Human trafficking/migrant sex workers;
  • Human and labour rights in sex work;
  • Gentrification and its impacts on queer spaces/red light districts;
  • Health and wellbeing amongst sexual minorities;
  • Stigma/stereotypes/social exclusion of sexual minorities and the sex industry;
  • Crime/violence towards sexual minorities and sex workers;
  • Production/distribution/consumption of pornography/adult entertainment;
  • Geographies of swinging/dogging/cruising;
  • Digital geographies of sex, sexuality and sex work;
  • Virtual reality, sexbots and human sexual relations;
  • Stigma and social exclusion of/in the sex industry;
  • Policing, criminal justice and sexed spaces;
  • Labour rights, health and safety issues within the sex industry;
  • Policy, politics and regulation of sexual landscapes;
  • Reproductive rights;
  • Liminal spaces/stigmatisation of sexuality, sex work and the sex industry;
  • BDSM/Kink/fetish spaces/communities; and
  • Censorship and sexualisation.

The #GeoSex18 special session series welcomes abstracts/papers from scholars, policy researchers within government agencies, consultancies, NGOs and sex work advocacy/support organisations and research-minded sex work activists from a range of disciplines and ideological/theoretical/methodological/empirical standpoints. If you are interested in taking part in this special session please send your abstract including: (i) paper title; (ii) author(s); (iii) institutional affiliation(s); (iv) email addresses; (v) a 250 word (maximum) abstract; and (vi) 5 key words to the co-convenors at GeoSex16@gmail.com by no later than 16th October 2017.

Co-Convenors:

 Dr Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia (Australia)

Dr. Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire (UK)

Dr. Erin Sanders-McDonagh, University of Kent (UK)

 

Erin also has a new book out this year, entitled Women And Sex Tourism Landscapes, published by Routledge, which may be of interest to potential presenters!   You can view the details here: https://www.routledge.com/Women-and-Sex-Tourism-Landscapes/Sanders-McDonagh/p/book/9781138814547 .

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TEDxLancasterU 2017 Conference, 13th May 2017

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I’m really excited to be giving a Tedx talk about my brothels in the community research at the TedxLancasterU Conference on 13th May – particularly as I have just found out that popcorn and pancakes are to be served!

You can find information about the speakers here.

My little speaker bio is below:

Emily studied for a BSc (Hons) in Geography at Lancaster University, and remained there to complete her PhD in Human Geography (awarded 2014). The PhD focused on the impacts of living in close proximity to brothels on residential communities in Blackpool.  She joined UCLan in 2016 as a Lecturer in Human Geography and a researcher for UCLan Policing.

Emily’s research centres on how sex, space and society interact, with a particular focus on sex work in recent studies.  She is also engaged in projects relating to female ex-offenders and young people at risk of involvement with serious and organised crime.

Sex work is considered to be a problematic feature of urban areas, largely generating fears around crime and disorder. However, robust and inclusive consultations with residential communities about the effects of sex work remain limited.

This talk will draw from conversations with local residents, authorities, and sex workers of Blackpool (UK) and will provide an insight into this under-researched area. Contrary to the assumption that crime and disorder are the only aspects that brothels bring to residential areas, brothels have several roles in Blackpool’s community. These include: economic contributions, heightening feelings of safety, and, quite simply, just being ‘ordinary neighbours’.

I believe these are live streamed (gulp!) and will also be available on YouTube after the event.  Hope to see some of you there!

#AAG2017 – (De)Stigmatising Sexscapes: Politics, Policy and Performance (Boston, USA)

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We (Paul Maginn and Erin Sanders-McDonagh) are pleased to announce our special session at this year’s AAG annual meeting, which is part of the Mainstreaming Human Rights in Geography and the AAG featured theme and also sponsored by the Sexuality and Space Specialty Group.  Please find below the session details and paper titles but I am also taking this opportunity to promote the fantastic new book by Erin: Women and Sex Tourism Landscapes (published by Routledge) which compares female tourists’ interactions in highly sexualised spaces in Thailand and the Netherlands.   Feel free to ask Erin about this during our sessions!

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1606.   (De)Stigmatising Sexscapes: Politics, Policy and Performance I: Porn, Pleasure & Performance (Sponsored by Sexuality and Space Specialty Group)
Room: Room 107, Hynes, Plaza Level  (Paper Session)

Wednesday April 5th, 4:40 pm – 6:20 pm


ORGANIZER(S): Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia; Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire; Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Middlesex University
CHAIR(S): Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia

4:40  Gemma Commane, Dr*, Birmingham City University, Kinktrepreneurship and social media: debates, rights and female subjectivity.
5:05  Joanne Bowring*, Liverpool John Moores University, Stigma in the UK Adult Film Industry.
5:30  Jennifer Heineman, PhD*, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Performing the Whore, Performing the Academic.
5:55  Emily Meyer, Esq.*, University of Cincinnati, The Cam Model: Kinship, Community, and Intimacy.

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2106.   (De)Stigmatising Sexscapes: Politics, Policy and Performance II: 2. Rights, Wrongs and Regulations (Sponsored by Sexuality and Space Specialty Group)
Room: Room 107, Hynes, Plaza Level  (Paper Session)

Thursday April 6th, 8:00 am – 9:40 am


ORGANIZER(S): Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia; Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire; Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Middlesex University
CHAIR(S): Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire

8:00  Laura Graham*, Durham University, The Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry on Prostitution: Is the time ripe for a Human Rights based approach to sex work?
8:25  Emilia Ljungberg*, Karlstad University, The smiling face of the emotional state.
8:50  Elena Shih*, Brown University; Christine Shio Lim, Brown University; Jordan Rubin-McGregor, Brown University; Imani Herring, Brown University, Building a Movement Against Sex Work in Rhode Island: Anti-Trafficking and Academic Industrial Complexes.
9:15  Billie M Lister, Doctor*, Leeds Beckett University, Time for change? : Indoor sex workers experiences of working under quasi-criminalisation in England and Wales and their ideas for legislative change.

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2206.   (De)Stigmatising Sexscapes: Politics, Policy and Performance III: 3. Governance, Policing and Design (Sponsored by Sexuality and Space Specialty Group)
Room: Room 107, Hynes, Plaza Level  (Paper Session)

Thursday April 6th, 10:00 am – 11:40 am


ORGANIZER(S): Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia; Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire; Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Middlesex University
CHAIR(S): Gemma Commane, Birmingham City University

10:00  Nicole Kalms*, Monash University, Sex Shop / Pole Dance / Street Work: Heteronormative Architectures of the Neoliberal City.

10:25  Erin Sanders-McDonagh*, University of Kent, Pushing sex work to the margins: The sanitization of Red Light Districts in Amsterdam and London.

10:50  Paul J. Maginn*, University of Western Australia; Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire, On-street, Off-street, And Online: The Dynamic Liminalities Of Sex Work.

11:15  Alison Better*, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY, Constructing Space and Community for Sexual and Gender Exploration at Sex Toy Boutiques

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2406.   (De)Stigmatising Sexscapes: Politics, Policy and Performance IV: 4. Production, Consumption and Reflection (Sponsored by Sexuality and Space Specialty Group)
Room: Room 107, Hynes, Plaza Level  (Paper Session)


ORGANIZER(S): Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia; Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire; Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Middlesex University
CHAIR(S): Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire

Thursday April 6th, 1:20 pm – 3:00 pm

1:20  Yo-Hsin Yang*, Negotiating/resisting stigma of sexscapes: gay men’s sex moral performances on tour.

1:40  Victor Trofimov*, European University Viadrina, From commercial sex to homonormativity: changing landscape of male street sex work in Berlin.

2:00  Katharine Parker*, Northumbria University, Public Sex Environments in Contemporary Sexscapes: A Case Study from North East England.

2:20  Nick McGlynn*, University of Brighton, Too Fat, Too Thin, Just Right?: Stigmatised Bodies in Bear Spaces.

2:40  Philip Birch*, Western Sydney University, Prostitution and Procuring Sexual Services: Why men buy sex .

____________________________________________________________________________________________2506.   (De)Stigmatising Sexscapes: Politics, Policy and Performance V: 5. Mobilities, Immobilities and Boundaries (Sponsored by Sexuality and Space Specialty Group)
Room: Room 107, Hynes, Plaza Level  (Paper Session) 

Thursday April 6th, 3:20 pm – 5:00 pm


ORGANIZER(S): Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia; Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire; Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Middlesex University
CHAIR(S): Erin Sanders-McDonagh, Middlesex University

3:20  Rachel Wotton*, Sex workers who provide services to clients with disability.

3:45  Alison J. Lynch, J.D., M.A.*, Associate Instructor, Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates, Sexuality, Disability and the Law: Beyond the Last Frontier?

4:10  Bella Robinson*, CoyoteRI; Elena Shih, Brown University, Policing Modern Day Slavery: Sex Work and the Carceral State in Rhode Island.

4:35  Laura Connelly, Dr*, University of Salford, Caring for and controlling the subaltern body: Politics, policy and practice within a rescue industry.

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I will be hopefully writing up a blog post after the sessions as usual for those who cannot make it.  Please follow the hashtag #geosex17 and #aag2017 for live tweets!

COST Action ProsPol Conference, Displacing Sex For Sale – Copenhagen, 2017

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I am currently at the fantastic COST Action ProsPol Conference, Displacing Sex for Sale, in Copenhagen and have enjoyed an inspiring first day.  I’ll update this post later with my notes from the sessions I attended, but I just wanted to do a little plug for our (@Planographer) paper tomorrow, entitled “On-Street, Off-street and Online: The Dynamic Liminalities of Sex Work“. Here is the abstract:

Sex work has long been the subject of labelling and stigma with sex workers, predominantly women, being the subjects of moral authority. Relatedly, the physical and virtual spaces in which sex work is produced and consumed have been subject to ‘territorial stigmatization’ (Wacquant, Updated:23 March 2017 16 2007). That is, commercial sex spaces have been marginalised – physically, socially and economically – by framing them, and those that occupy them, as immoral, deviant, dirty, disorderly, and dangerous. Sex work spaces are thus constructed as major ‘blemishes’ (Wacquant, 2007), not only on the urban landscape but the very fabric of society. Simultaneously, however, sex work spaces constitute ‘counter-spaces’ (Lefebvre, 1991) where ‘sexual boundary crossers’ (Hausbeck Korgan et al, 2016)[1] can engage in transgressive behaviours and express and celebrate their minority sexual identity status. Sex work spaces are also liminal in character in that they are often caught between the grey space of legality and illegality; ‘a space between sex and work whilst also being neither/both’ (Smith, 2015)[2]; a space that can be simultaneously physical and virtual; a space where different personas and/or alter egos can be portrayed and performed; and, a space where fantasy meets reality. This exploratory, conceptual paper will consider the key liminal characteristics across three distinct spaces where sex work is produced and consumed: (i) the street; (ii) indoor spaces (e.g. the home, hotels and brothels); and, (iii) the virtual (e.g. online escorting; social media and camming). It will be argued that the moral posturing, stigma and regulations imposed upon sex workers gives rise to the exercise of ‘liminal stigmatisation’. Simultaneously, however, the very liminality of sex work spaces, especially virtual ones, allows sex workers to mobilise and challenge this liminal stigma from above.

The presentation is part of the panel session Sex Work in the Digital Age, chaired by Prof. Teela Sanders, in Building D, Room 3.114 (3rd floor) between 9.15 and 11am.  Hope to see some of you there!

Postgraduate Christmas Conference, Criminal Justice Partnership Seminar Series – 7th December 13:00-16:00, UCLan MIS

Postgraduate Christmas Conference

7th December 13:00-16:00, Media Innovation Studio

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Schedule

Introduction and welcome 13:00-13:10
Presentation 1

Faye Christabel Speed – Online Grooming: An Exploration of the Genetic-Social Variables Which Enable Victimization.

13:10-13:30
Presentation 2

Natalie Harrison – The development and validation of the Experiences of Sibling Aggression (ESA) scale.

13:35-13:55
Presentation 3

Laura Robertson – A Whole System Approach to Youth Offending: Multi-agency Decision-making in Youth Justice

14:00-14:20
Break 14:25-14:40

 

Presentation 4

Flo SeymourHorticulture, hypermasculinity and mental wellbeing: the connections within a male prison context.

14:40-15:00
Presentation 5

Tasha Mokhtar – A practitioner perspective of why some young people reoffend while others desist from crime

15:00-15:20

 

Questions and discussion

Chaired by Prof. Stuart Kirby

15:25-15:40
Networking

Mince pies and mulled wine

15.40-close

 

All are welcome! Please email Emily Cooper or Jayn Pearson to register your attendance by 29th November so we can order catering.

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Abstracts

Presentation 1                                                          

Online Grooming: An Exploration of the Genetic-Social Variables Which Enable Victimization.

Faye Christabel Speed (Masters by Research)

Within contemporary society, it is evident that cybercrime has progressively become an unavoidable danger. This risk is particularly alarming in relation to the vulnerable members of society where social networking sites have become tools to target, allure and infiltrate a child’s domain. My research analyses three distinct zones which enable and facilitate online grooming: paedophilic pathways, self-endorsed victimisation and societal failures. By focusing on these three distinct areas, I will be able to identify the specific facilitators of online grooming. Within ‘paedophilic pathways’, my objective is to commence a discussion as to why paedophiles are empowered through the online world. This will initially consider the difference between online and offline grooming, and will reflect on their merging.

Subsequently, within the ‘self-endorsed victimisation’ dimension, the researcher would like to analyse target stages of how and why adolescents capacitate victimisation and will consist of two strands. Firstly, the unconscious authorization, where the adolescent is mostly unaware of their predator prompting vulnerability and secondly, self-endorsed victimisation where the researcher will attempt to understand why teenagers purposely evoke vulnerability online.

Within the ‘societal failures’ dimension, the research will attempt to investigate what preventative measures are currently in place concerning family life, the education system and law enforcement, to suggest why they are ultimately failing. The overall aim of my research will be to deliberate a contingency plan, in order to advocate an individual and societal cut-off by categorising elements of risk detection, grooming obstruction and possible further paedophilic prohibition which the target could initiate.

The presentation will provide an executive overview of the research design and justification.

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Presentation 2

The development and validation of the Experiences of Sibling Aggression (ESA) scale.

Natalie Harrison (Research Assistant in Policing and Mental Health)

Sibling aggression has been shown to occur at rates as high as 90% (Relva, Fernandes & Mota, 2013). However, the measures used to gather the prevalence data often look solely at the behavioural acts of aggression rather than the functions and motivations behind them. This means that play fighting, a developmentally beneficial behaviour for children (Flanders, Simard, Paquette, Parent, Vitaro, Phil & Seguin, 2010), is often neglected and unintentionally included in these statistics. This has the potential to inflate rates of sibling aggression, obscuring the true extent of the problem. The research aimed to develop a measure specifically for sibling aggression, that distinguished between the two behaviours. Two studies are reported here; (1) the exploration of this form of family violence from the viewpoint of those who identify themselves as a victim and/or perpetrator of sibling aggression and (2) the development and factor structure of the Experiences of Sibling Aggression (ESA) Scale.  The two studies identified that participants could distinguish between play fighting and sibling aggression, with a status of dominance and normalisation being important in these instances of aggression. These themes were tested to see whether they emerged in the ESA scale, revealing a four factor structure. Overall, the research demonstrates a need to consider play fighting in research on sibling aggression so that the true extent of the problem can be established.

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Presentation 3

A Whole System Approach to Youth Offending: Multi-agency Decision-making in Youth Justice

Laura Robertson (PhD Candidate, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR), University of Glasgow)

This paper will be based on findings from a PhD study of the implementation of the Whole System Approach to Youth Offending in Scotland. The Whole System Approach is a Scottish youth justice policy for 8-18-year-olds based on inter-agency working; Early and Effective Intervention; Diversion from Prosecution; and, the provision of community alternatives to secure care and custody. A mixed methods approach to exploring the implementation of the WSA was adopted including semi-structured interviews with policy actors at a national level, interviews with a range of practitioners from criminal justice agencies in the local authority and documentary analysis of policy documents and guidance relating to youth justice. This paper will principally focus on policy actors’ and practitioners’ perspectives on Early and Effective Intervention and Diversion from Prosecution processes addressing how these processes are perceived to have been implemented and exploring the inter-agency decision-making processes they are underpinned by.

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Presentation 4

Horticulture, hypermasculinity and mental wellbeing: the connections within a male prison context

Flo Seymour (PhD student, NIHR CLAHRC funded – School of Community Health and Midwifery)

Horticulture and the exposure to natural/green spaces has been widely accepted as having significant benefits upon a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Within the prison population, particularly amongst males, prevalence of mental illness, suicide and self-harm continue to rise and cause significant problems within prisons but also for prisoners on release.

Gardening projects in prison have nearly always existed but within the North West region, almost all prisons have a horticulture project called Greener on the Outside: For Prisons (GOOP); which aims to improve health and wellbeing, provide education in horticulture, maths and English, create a sociable, teamwork oriented environment, encourage health eating and physical activity and promote a rehabilitative culture.

Within all-male custodial settings, the issue of hypermasculine behaviours, such as aggression, violence and suppression of emotions has been reported as being significantly damaging to male prisoners’ mental health. The aim of this PhD research is to investigate whether GOOP can provide an alternative setting to improve mental wellbeing for male prisoners but also counteract and deter the potentially harmful masculine behaviours that are, evidently, a norm in most secure settings.

This presentation will focus on the themes of horticulture, mental wellbeing and male prisoners and hypermasculine behaviours as well as an overview of the first year of my PhD experience.

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Presentation 5

A practitioner perspective of why some young people reoffend while others desist from crime

Natasha Mokhtar (PhD Student, Policing)

Records show that although less young people are reoffending, for those that do, their recidivism rate continues to rise. This suggests there are a significant group of persistent young offenders who are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. Further, this problem is more acute in Lancashire which has a reoffending rate of 41.9% (national reoffending rate for young people in 2013/14 is 37.8%. Lancashire Youth Offending Team (LYOT) want to further understanding reoffending, methods to reduce it and the implications of this research on their practice.

The first phase of this research was a set of interviews with LYOT practitioners to gain a professional perspective to their challenges when dealing with young offenders. The interviews included staff from a range of disciplines: police, probation, social work, education and mental health. 17 interviews were conducted with staff in Preston, Burnley and Lancaster. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis and four main themes were identified: definition of desistance, reoffending knowledge, factors relating to onset, persistent and desistance and additional factors relating to reoffending. Multiple factors were associated with reoffending and desistance from crime Practitioners also spoke about the negative portrayal of young offenders in the media, the impact of custody, the role of victims, the influence of the system and about offences committed by young people. Practitioner opinions on reoffending are consistent with current literature in the area. The talk will outline the findings from the interviews, their relevance to the literature, and the next stages of the research.

Upcoming Talks

I’m really excited to be giving some talks about my PhD research and upcoming collaborative projects over the next few months. Here are the details:

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Sensing the urban illicit: sex work, sensory urbanism and aesthetic criminology

Dr Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

Dr Ian R. Cook & Dr Charlotte Bilby (Northumbria University)

 30th November 2016, Geography department seminar series, Chester University (16 30-18.00 CBB012)

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Historically, sex work has largely been constructed as a deviant and disorderly presence in the city.  Much of the research on sex work has therefore centred on its marginalisation to ‘dark corners’ (Hubbard 2004) of the city, and the multi-faceted stigmatisation that sex workers face.  However, as this presentation will argue, there is a need to consider other roles of the sex industry in everyday urban worlds; a need for exploration of its intersections with art, aesthetics and affect, rather than the purely legal or moral concerns which have dominated discussions to date (Agustin 2007).

Drawing on a case study on the impacts of brothels on residential communities in Blackpool (UK), this talk advocates that there is value in bringing together ideas from the urban studies literature on sensory urbanism with those from the visual criminology literature.  The presentation focuses on the physical appearance of the brothels and how they are perceived by members of the local community. Key aspects highlighted in resident narratives were the appearance and transparency of the windows and doors of the brothels, the visibility of their security measures, and the role of colour and light in their appearance. The case study demonstrates that, in order to holistically understand illicit places in the city – and the multiple roles they play in everyday urban worlds – it is vital to relate the visual to other senses; and, furthermore, to capture the relationship between the senses and emotion.

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Sex Work in the Community: A Study of Blackpool’s Brothels

Dr Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

7pm, 8th December 2016, Blackpool Speakeasy Talk, Raikes Hall Pub, Blackpool

See @bplspkesy and https://blackpoolspeakeasy.xyz/ for more details of events

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Sex work, in all its forms, is generally considered to be a problematic feature of urban areas.  Such perceptions include associations with dirt and disorder, questions about sexual morality and the reputation of the surrounding areas, and fears concerning trafficking and other crime.  However, robust and inclusive consultations with residential communities about the real (as opposed to perceived) effects of sex work remain limited.

This talk will therefore shed some light on this under-researched area, discussing the findings from a doctoral research project (conducted between 2011-2013) on the effects of brothels in Blackpool on the surrounding residential communities.  Drawing from observations, and interviews with local residents, police officers, Blackpool Council, and sex workers, the talk will provide an insight into how brothels in Blackpool are managed by local authorities and present their very complex role in the everyday lives of their neighbours.  Contrary to the assumption that crime and disorder are the only aspects that brothels bring to residential areas, the brothels and sex workers have many roles in Blackpool’s community life.  These include economic contributions, heightening feelings of safety and community spirit, social entertainment, and, quite simply, just being other ‘ordinary neighbours’.

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On-street, Off-street, And Online: The Dynamic Liminalities Of Sex Work

Assoc. Prof. Paul Maginn (UWA) and Dr Emily Cooper (UCLan)

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2017, 5-10 April 2017, Boston (USA), #Geosex17

Sex work has long been the subject of labelling/stigma with sex workers being the subjects of moral authority.  Relatedly, the physical spaces in which sex work is produced/consumed have been subject to ‘territorial stigmatization’ (Wacquant, 2007). That is, commercial sex spaces have been marginalised – physically, socially and economically – by framing them, and those that occupy them, as abnormal, immoral, deviant, dirty, disorderly, and dangerous.  Sex work spaces are thus constructed as major ‘blemishes’ on the urban landscape and the very fabric of society. Simultaneously, however, sex spaces constitute ‘counter-spaces’ where ‘sexual boundary crossers (Hausbeck Korgan, 2016) can engage in transgressive behaviours and express their minority sexual identity status.  Sex work spaces are also liminal in that they are often caught between the grey space of legality and illegality; ‘a space between sex and work whilst also being neither/both’ (Smith, 2015); a space that can be simultaneously physical and virtual; a space where different personas can be portrayed; and, a space where fantasy meets reality. This exploratory, conceptual paper considers the key liminal characteristics across three distinct spaces where sex work is produced/consumed: (i) the street; (ii) indoor spaces (e.g. brothels, hotels); and (iii) virtual spaces (e.g. online escorting; social media and camming).  It is argued that the moral posturing, stigma and regulations imposed upon sex workers gives rise to the exercise of ‘liminal stigmatisation’. Simultaneously, however, the very liminality of sex work spaces, especially virtual ones, allows sex workers to mobilise and challenge this liminal stigma.

 

 

 

UCLan Postgraduate Criminal Justice Seminar Series

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Calling all postgraduate students!

Beginning in the academic year 2016-2017, the Criminal Justice Partnership are starting a postgraduate criminal justice seminar series.  These events will provide a great opportunity for doctoral students to present their research in an informal setting to a varied audience (including School postgraduate students/colleagues, the wider University community and external guests) while also acting as a socialising and networking space.  The series is open to ALL students conducting research on, or of interest to, criminal justice, criminology and policing. The presentation formats and topics will vary and speakers are free to present at all stages of their research, covering any element of their research interests.  Suggestions for external speakers are always welcome and a timetable of events for the upcoming year will be produced.  Below are the details for event one:

Postgraduate Christmas Conference, Wednesday 7th December 1-4 p.m.

csats

Are you currently doing a PhD or Masters dissertation on topics within Criminal Justice, Criminology or Policing? Fancy an opportunity to present about your research, gain some valuable feedback, and network? Submit an abstract to the Postgraduate Christmas Conference!

Presentations will be 15 minutes long.  We will be joined by Prof. Stuart Kirby to do a closing chair discussion, and there will be opportunities to ask questions of your peers and share tales about the research process.

The event will be accompanied by mulled wine and appropriately-Christmassy cakes/nibbles, and we will head for a meal (optional) in the city after the event.  Students at ALL stages of their research are welcome to submit an abstract and the event is open to all.

Please submit an abstract (250 words maximum) to Emily Cooper (ecooper2@uclan.ac.uk) by Friday 11th November 2016