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Title: Representations of prostitution in modern Irish culture
Author: McGurren, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 5384
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis offers new ways to read the prostitute body in Ireland, by undertaking a feminist examination of the categorisation and censorship of Irish women's sexuality through issues of prostitution. Specifically, it evaluates cultural representations of female sex workers in literature, on screen and online since 1980. This research asks questions about women's agency and the elements of performativity involved in soliciting sex, as well as analysing how the prostitute has become an embodied symbol of modernity in Ireland. By using a feminist cultural studies approach which takes in literature, television, for, radio and the media, and.moves between canonical and non-canonical texts, this project offers an intertextual and interdisciplinary critique of the representation of prostitution in modern Irish culture. Second wave feminism has produced a number of reductive rhetorical claims about the victimised status of sex workers, and this study aims to provide a more nuanced reading of prostitution ill contemporary Ireland. This project works in two ways: the first section involves a consideration of the self-representation and constructed personae of sex workers through memoirs and online forums. Section II examines how the prostitute figure has been reproduced in a range of cultural formats, suggesting modes of embodiment and resistance. I engage with current debates on decriminalisation, nation, and sex trafficking to show that prostitution is a crucial political issue for feminism. This thesis highlights the cultural construction of the prostitute during a period of rapid change in socio-sexual attitudes. The evolving sex industry is at the intersection of old and new Ireland: it highlights issues of cosmopolitanism, migration, racism, and marginality. By drawing together cross-media representations of prostitution in our society, this thesis illustrates the importance of the discourse of prostitution to interrogating the social positioning of women in 21st century Ireland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available