Sex Work, Marginalization, and Activism in India

  • Gowri VijayakumarEmail author
  • Subadra Panchanadeswaran
  • Shubha Chacko


Debates over prostitution and sex work are often so polarized that systematic, comprehensive discussions of relevant research and policy are difficult to find. Benoit, Smith, Jansson, Healey, and Magnuson (2018) offer a useful response to this problem in their Target Article. After introducing the general methodological challenges to sex work research and policy, they discuss two broad perspectives on sex work: the “gender inequality” perspective, which underlines the hierarchy of gender relations, and the “social inequality” perspective, which focuses on exploitation of labor. For each perspective, they outline its basic theoretical claims, summarize the existing empirical evidence, explain critiques of the perspective, discuss related policy approaches, and then lay out critiques of these policy approaches.

The great benefit of the Target Article’s approach is that it explores all sides of both perspectives, allowing for an evaluation of each on its own merits. Benoit et...



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA
  3. 3.Solidarity FoundationBengaluruIndia

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