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Guilty contagions and innocent victims : adult sex workers in Canadian press coverage of Thailand's sex tourism industry

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Guilty contagions and innocent victims : adult sex workers in Canadian press coverage of Thailand's sex tourism industry

Peters, Heather (2007) Guilty contagions and innocent victims : adult sex workers in Canadian press coverage of Thailand's sex tourism industry. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Using a pro-sex workers' rights perspective, this thesis analyzes how and what mainstream, English-language Canadian newspapers contribute to the public, common sense knowledge of the adult, female sex workers in Thailand's sex tourism industry. It also considers the positions, actions, or policies with regard to the industry and its workers that this knowledge promotes or justifies. Through an analysis of newspaper articles about sex tourism published in three major newspapers between 1985 and 2005, I argue that the predominant discourses surrounding these sex workers are structured around ideas of guilt and innocence in ways that silence these women and negate the need to consider their concerns and demands with regard to the industry. Specifically, I demonstrate how the varying ascriptions of guilt or innocence in these newspaper articles intertwine with preexisting discourses and stereotypes so as to limit the portrayals of these women, positioning them as guilty contagions in need of control or, occasionally, childlike and therefore innocent victims in need of rescue. As these portrayals could easily help justify actions and policies that ignore sex workers' voices, I conclude with suggested changes to coverage of sex tourism that might aid the development of a common sense in which these women's demands are at the centre of any debate around the industry.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Peters, Heather
Pagination:v, 127 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sawchuk, Kim
ID Code:975442
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:08
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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