Seaside Ports, Coastal Cities and Tropical Islands: Songs of Sex Work and Inequality by the Sea

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This chapter considers the representation of sex work by the sea in popular
song. Drawing on a travelling literature review – from British resorts and
ports to New Orleans in the United States, to Trinidad and Jamaica in the
Caribbean – I identify themes of gender, sexuality and race intersecting with
public order concerns, military presence, postcolonialism and economic precarity. This literature provides a rich context for exploring the songs chosen
for this chapter and highlights in particular the relationship of sex work
with inequality. I conclude by recognising the bioethical implications of an
instrumental desire for the ‘tender shelter’ of coast and body.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoastal Environments in Popular Song
Subtitle of host publicationLost Horizons
EditorsGlenn Fosbraey
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-23084-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-13796-4, 978-1-032-13795-7
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in the History of Bioethics

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Gender and Violence Research


  • Sex work
  • Songs
  • lyrics
  • Gender
  • race
  • Sexuality
  • postcolonial
  • coast
  • Social history
  • Liminality
  • Carnivalesque

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