Friday, February 16, 2007

Joanna Phoenix, Making Sense of Prostitution (2002)

a friend of mine has been joking with me about how i´ve been reading all these books on prostitution as part of the methodology stage of my research :) and i would laugh, except that this book was quite helpful in looking at methodology and assumptions that are made and conclusions based on certain research. it was a good mixture of analysis of other research in this area and prostitute´s own stories. the best part of this book was how it looked at the contradictions that are part of prostitute´s lives and how one learns to live with those contradictions. Some of the contradictions are woman as victim vs woman as survivor. men as opportunities for money but also as cost. women as businesspersons but also loving individuals. prostitution as opportunity and cost. for instance, prostitution was a way of becoming independent and earning enough money not to be homeless, but often caused dependency on men who used them or caused them to lose their homes. for me, it shows a strong sense of survival - of attempting to learn to live with difficult situations to which there does not seem the possibility of leaving, even if one wants to.
my question after all these books is how do we, as Christians and society, help those who recognize the damage prostitution is doing to them but can´t see another alternative?

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