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FitzGerald, Sharron; McGarry, Kathryn (2016): Problematizing Prostitution in Law and Policy in the Republic of Ireland: A Case for Reframing. In: Social & Legal Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3: pp. 289-309
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Abstract

This article attempts to uncover the discursive practices that have framed recent debates on prostitution in the Republic of Ireland. As Ireland prepares to introduce Swedish-style laws, which criminalize the purchase of sexual services, we are particularly interested in interrogating the dominant construction of prostitution in recent policy debates and consultations. Taking these spaces as sites for the reproduction of discursive and material practices, we employ methods of critical discourse analysis through Carole Bacchi's (1999) 'What's the problem represented to be' approach to question: How is prostitution problematized in Irish law and policy? We argue the representation of prostitution in neo-abolitionist discourse in Ireland operates through gendered and racialized assumptions about sex workers and migrant women. The material consequences of this have implications not only for current prostitution law and policy proposals but also for wider feminist spaces in Ireland.