The article examines how language helps the construction of fictive kinships networks (family-like structures among marginalized populations) amongst Southwestern U.S. street-level sex workers. These networks establish ties and obligations - as well as power structures - between members of the community. Findings from this research suggest that these kinship structures impact sex workers’ sense of agency, while also providing community safety ("insulation"), that shades into exclusion from the dominant culture. The study indicates that language use within this community operates as a framework that plays a critical role in these relationships, their formation and maintenance. Better understanding of how relationships are formed and maintained within this community can lead to valuable insight regarding the criminalisation of sex work and coping mechanisms used by participants in resisting criminalising and exclusion.
You can download this 20 page PDF resource above. This resource is in English.