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Formation and outcome: the political discourses of the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act, 2000-2003

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Formation and outcome: the political discourses of the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act, 2000-2003

Zangger, Catherine (2009) Formation and outcome: the political discourses of the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act, 2000-2003. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The aim of the thesis is to explore language use in the social processes of law reform. Between 2000 and 2003 New Zealand (NZ) underwent a major legal amendment and provides an ideal context for such an analysis. During that period, social policies surrounding the sex industry underwent a legal change: from criminalization to decriminalization. The specific research undertaken for my MA thesis is an analysis of NZ parliamentary debates surrounding the Prostitution Reform Bill (PRB) that led to that change. Using critical discourse analysis (Fairclough 1993) to examine the NZ parliamentary debates, I discuss the discursive framings which allowed the enactment of the PRB. Furthermore, I examine other government documents relating to the legal change in 2003 and newspaper articles to contextualize it. The NZ parliamentary transcripts, govemment documents, and news clippings, which are available free on-line, provide a rich starting point for studying the relationship between language use, law reform, and judicial policy surrounding the politics of sex work. By analysing the NZ political debates in relation to the PRB, the thesis demonstrates that Members of Parliament (MPs) opposing the law reform capitalized on the moral order rhetoric to highlight the divide between public and private spheres and to argue for added protection for the community instead of sex workers. Those in support also used this dichotomy but to promote the rights of sex workers. This created discursive divides among MPs and changed the content of the PRB. These tensions are discussed in order to use this political phenomenon to further inform the debate surrounding social movement and outcome.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Zangger, Catherine
Pagination:109, 31 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Shaver, Frances
ID Code:976612
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:29
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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