Proletaria de la vida: sex worker organising in Argentina
The precarious labour relations characterised by sex work are increasingly reflected by conditions in the wider labour market. As such and despite being viewed as ‘atypical workers’, the experiences of sex workers are more typical than has been previously recognised. This thesis explores the lives, labour and organising efforts of sex workers in the Asociación de Mujeres Meretrices de la Argentina (Argentinean Female Sex Workers’ Union - AMMAR). In exploring the organising strategies developed by AMMAR, the thesis highlights the importance of relationality, intimacy and emotion in reinvigorating workers’ organisation. The research foregrounds the concepts of ‘affective organising’ and ‘inclusive unionism’ as fundamental to building successful organisations of workers at the margins society and the economy. In the context of increasing precariousness and informalisation of work, this thesis argues that there are also lessons for the wider labour movement. The research draws on a questionnaire survey of 297 sex workers, 108 in-depth interviews with union and non-union sex workers, union leadership, politicians and civil society actors, as well as ethnographic observations in the union and within the spaces of street sex work. Questionnaires were undertaken in ten cities and further qualitative research was conducted in Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Paraná and La Plata. Using these methods and working in alliance with sex worker activists, the thesis develops a methodology based on ‘dialogic collaboration’. This approach emphasises the importance of relationship building, responsibility and solidarity in research design and implementation in order that more mutual relations between North and South become possible.
AuthorsHardy, Kate Randle
- Theses