Fifty years of sex work research in Canada

Link to document: Fifty Years of Sex Work Research in Canada

This “scrapbook” was inspired by Fran Shaver’s retirement from Concordia University in September, 2017. Reflecting on her career, I was struck by the way in which her 50-year personal career paralleled important changes in the social perception and responses to sex work by Canadians, policy-makers, and legal practitioners. It provided a nice example of C. Wright Mill’s characterization of the sociological imagination as the intersection of history and biography.

The characterization of both the history of sex work and Fran’s activities is largely my own. I have relied heavily on material produced by Fran and her colleagues for the former and my own recollections for the latter. I expect that these recollections are strongly coloured by the lens of a domestic filter, but the objective of this document is celebration of the social and personal contributions of those involved, so I hope you will overlook these distortions in the interest of this celebration.

You will notice I have presented the material within four different frames. The “no-frame” material is the sex work history part of the document as I have constructed it. The red frame material is an account of Fran’s professional biography side of things: the activities in which she was engaged which parallel the history periods selected. The blue frames enclose the stories, comments, and greetings that were sent to me by her colleagues, friends, and students in time for this production. I have also added some blank green frames for anyone to write in additional material for Fran if the spirit moves them.

If you would like to add some stories, comments, or greetings of your own, you can pass them to me via the e-mail below. I will integrate your material in future editions of this “scrapbook”.

Bill Reimer

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