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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The embodied labour of femininity in sex work and performance in contemporary Turkey : theory and practice Akinci, Ozgul


This dissertation is a theoretical and practical investigation of the implications of the figure of the prostitute and utilization of feminist theory on sex work in performance practice. Through my interdisciplinary grasp of the notion of the prostitute, I arguethat the figure of the prostitute and its rearticulation through sex work theories can offer a methodological tool to reconsider the notions of femininity and masquerade in their relation to labour. Through the lens of critical theory and practice-based research, I seek to work at the intersection of sex work politics and performance practice. The second chapter looks at the role of the figure of the actress, and that of the prostitute as its counter-figure, in the formation of the new Republican woman in Turkey. The third chapter revisits feminist theory on femininity and masquerade. The fourth chapter examines the notion of labour, the feminist critique of Marxist labour theory, and different approaches to sex work within feminism. The last and fifth chapter documents and discusses the practice-based workshops that I devised and ran in İstanbul between 2013 and 2015.

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