The Morality of the “Immoral”: The Case of Homeless, Drug-Using Street Prostitutes

The Morality of the “Immoral”: The Case of Homeless, Drug-Using Street Prostitutes

The wide-ranging literature on deviance and stigma rarely allows for disjuncture between action (behavior) and disposition (values): individuals act deviantly because they are deviant, or they re-present deviant actions as consistent with dominant morality through processes of stigma management. Drawing on research carried out with female homeless street sex workers in England, this article suggests there can be such disjuncture. The women participating in the research displayed mainstream values while also acknowledging the deviant nature of their behavior but rarely employed stigma management techniques. The article suggests that when prostitution is viewed as a functional act rather than one invested with value, the need to revalue is diminished.

JOURNAL: Deviant Behavior
VOLUME: 34
ISSUE: 10
PAGES: 824-840
SOURCE: Taylor & Francis Online
PUBLICATION DATE: 2013
LOCATION: UK