SSC Seminar Series: Christine Bruckert & Tuulia Law

“The Costs of Surveilling Sexual Morality: Sex Work and the State”

** Please note time change to 12:00**

D216 Mac-Corry Hall
Queen's University

Christine Bruckert
Department of Criminology
University of Ottawa

Tuulia Law
MA Candidate
Institute of Women’s Studies
University of Ottawa

Both in its intent and its effect, the surveillance of sex workers does not promote their safety, but rather functions to regulate sexual morality by discrediting the labour of sex workers and undermining their security. This presentation addresses the intersections of surveillance and stigma as they pertain to sex work in Canada. The aim is to discuss contemporary surveillance, self-surveillance and counter-surveillance strategies enacted by the state, communities and sex workers, as well as the social consequences of stigmatic surveillance. Secondly, the presentation will draw on the recently released POWER report exploring the hyper-surveillance of Ottawa-area street-based sex workers by police and examine how this is layer over, and indeed intersects with, the 'watchful eyes' of vigilant community members. We will consider if the social profiling experienced by this population is rooted in structural and interpersonal stigma that plays out in the denial of sex workers human social and civil rights. The presentation ends with some reflections on sex workers informal and formal resistance strategies.

Everyone welcome!