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Six Themes in the Ethnography of Prostitution Essay

Clare Sterk reports about women who work as prostitute. Most of these women worked in streets, crack houses, and other pubic places. Sterk came up with six themes in the ethnography of prostitution: 1) A woman’s explanation for why she joined the field 2) The four types of prostitutes are streetwalkers, hooked prostitutes, addicts, crack prostitutes 3) The role of the pimp in their life 4) The impact of the AIDS epidemic 5) The violence and abuse that the women had to undergo 6) The depart from prostitution. Most women went into prostitution because they needed to support their own drug use or their male partners.

Prostitutes were also categorized depending on whether they look drugs and what they got paid. The reports of Sterk revealed information about their pimps and customers. Only a few of the prostitutes completed high school. Most of the women were not educated. In her opinion, visiting the crack houses was the most difficult. She said that the “women were scared of the AID epidemic” (Sterk). From the prostitutes, Sterk understands how the prostitutes weren’t able to ask their clients to wear condoms.

The risks of having their clients upset were to great. Prostitutes also had to endure many hardships from police and violence from their pimps. They were treated as slaves and abused in this way. For most women, it is impossible to leave the industry of prostitution because they need to get a good income from somewhere. However, some women get tired of it and quit. By staying with the prostitutes, she offered them groceries and many rides all over town. In this way, she won the trust of the prostitutes. After living with the prostitutes, Sterk became very close to the prostitutes, which causes her to have hardships when she leaves.


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