Title

"She's a professional like anyone else": Social identity among Brazilian sex workers

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date

2010

Abstract

Community mobilisation among sex workers is recognised as an important HIV/STI prevention strategy. However, factors such as poverty and stigma often negatively influence participation in activities that attempt to mobilise around a common identity of ‘sex workers’. A qualitative study was conducted to explore the relationship between social identity and participation among 24 sex workers enrolled in an HIV/STI prevention intervention research project with a community mobilisation component. The relationship between social identity and participation was found to be a dynamic process in which participation in project clinic and community-based activities was motivated by three overlapping strategies: participation for psycho-social and health benefits; participation to improve individual status; and participation to change group status. Rather than mobilising around a ‘sex worker identity’, we conclude that projects with a community mobilisation approach may be more effective if they facilitate space for critical self-reflection and opportunities for collective action with an emphasis on acceptance and solidarity.

DOI

10.1080/13691050903450122

Language

English

Project

Horizons Program

Share

COinS