Vortrag: Rutvica Andrijaševic (Leicester): Conflicts of Mobility: Sex Work, Citizenship, Europe, 30.06.2011, Wien

Gender Initiativkolleg (GIK) der Universitaet Wien (Web)
Zeit: 30. Juni 2011, 12 – 13.30 Uhr
Ort: Hörsaal 3, NIG/Neues Institutsgebäude, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien
In this talk I will discuss how the complexity of desires and decisions behind women’s migratory projects, the interdependency of structural and personal forces that sustain the conditions of exploitation, and the multiple social positions and identifications that migrant women take up in relation to prostitution get hidden when addressed under the rubric of ‘trafficking’ in women. I will argue that the emphasis on criminal organisations and victimised women, typical of the discourse on sex trafficking as the new slave trade, depoliticises the debate on migration and labour. Additionally, it closes down the possibility for seeing the ways in which migrant women’s assertion of social positions that are not deemed legitimate for victims of ‘sex trafficking’ presses onto and reshapes citizenship in Europe. By bringing to the fore the relationship between migrant women’s enactment of mobility at the ‘micro’ level and its unequal distribution at the ‘macro’ level, I will suggest that trafficking discourse and anti-trafficking policies normalise a differential regime of mobility through which the EU organises access to its labour market and citizenship.
The key questions around which the intervention is structured are the following: What is the relationship between processes of re-bordering in Europe, in particular with regard to the functioning of the European Union’s eastern borders and the confinement and exploitation of migrant labour in the sex sector? How has the discourse on ‘sex trafficking’ as a ‚modern slavery‘ contributed to reinstalling the binary opposition between slavery and free waged labour, positing the former as characteristic of labour arrangements in non-democratic societies and the latter as typical of market relations in liberal democracies? What is the importance of the gender and sexuality norms in whether migrants working in the sex sector see themselves as workers and partake in collective mobilisations for sex workers‘ rights?
Respondenz: Susanne Kimm, GIK
Rutvica Andrijaševic: Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester

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