Criminalising the Purchase of Sex: Lessons from Sweden

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Routledge, Sep 15, 2014 - Law - 270 pages
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In an attempt to abolish prostitution, Sweden criminalised the purchase of sex in 1999, while simultaneously decriminalising its sale. In so doing, it set itself apart from other European states, promoting itself as the pioneer of a radical approach to prostitution. What has come to be referred to as ‘the Swedish model’ has been enormously influential, and has since been adopted and proposed by other countries. This book establishes the outcomes of this law – and the law’s justifying narratives – for the dynamics of Swedish sex work, and upon the lives of sex workers.

Drawing on recent fieldwork undertaken in Sweden over several years, including qualitative interviewing and participant observation, Jay Levy argues that far from being a law to be emulated, the Swedish model has had many detrimental impacts, and has failed to demonstrably decrease levels of prostitution. Criminalising the Purchase of Sex: Lessons from Sweden utilises a wealth of respondent testimony and secondary research to redress the current lack of primary academic research and to contribute to academic discussion on this politically-charged and internationally relevant topic.

This original and timely work will be of interest to sex worker rights organisations, policy makers and politicians, as well as researchers, academics and students across a number of related disciplines, including law, sociology, criminology, human geography and gender studies.

 

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Contents

Sweden A brief history of The Peoples Home
1
Methodology
11
1 The sexköpslagen legal and discursive precedent
29
2 Perceptions understandings and constructions
60
3 Levels and spaces of sex work in Sweden
101
4 The Swedish model on service provision the prostitution units and harm reduction
128
5 The Swedish model on service provision sex workers experiences
156
6 Compromised citizenship outcomes of law policy and discourse
175
social exclusion in Swedens Peoples Home
223
Bibliography
232
Index
247
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Jay Levy completed his PhD at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. He works for an NGO in London and freelances as a consultant and researcher. His research interests include the outcomes of sex work and drug legislation and discourse; feminist, gender, and queer theory; harm reduction, HIV/AIDS, STI, and blood-borne infection policy and law.

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