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The War on Sex

Edited by
David M. Halperin
David M. Halperin

David M. Halperin is W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality in the English Department at the University of Michigan and the author, most recently, of How to Be Gay.

Trevor Hoppe is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and author of Punishing Disease.

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Trevor Hoppe
Trevor Hoppe

David M. Halperin is W. H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality in the English Department at the University of Michigan and the author, most recently, of How to Be Gay.

Trevor Hoppe is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, State University of New York, and author of Punishing Disease.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-7314-8
Publication date:
2017
Book Chapter

Carceral Politics as Gender Justice?: The “Traffic in Women” and Neoliberal Circuits of Crime, Sex, and Rights

By
Elizabeth Bernstein
Elizabeth Bernstein
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Published:
March 2017

This essay draws upon recent works in sociology, jurisprudence, and feminist theory in order to assess the ways in which feminism, and sex and gender more generally, have become intricately interwoven with punitive agendas in contemporary U.S. politics. Melding existing theoretical discussions of penal trends with insights drawn from ethnographic research on the contemporary anti-trafficking movement in the United States, the chapter elaborates upon the ways that neoliberalism and the politics of sex and gender have intertwined to produce a carceral turn in feminist advocacy movements previously organized around struggles for economic justice and liberation. Taking the anti-trafficking movement as a case study, it further demonstrates how human rights discourse has become a key vehicle both for the transnationalization of carceral politics and for the reincorporation of these policies into the domestic terrain in a benevolent, feminist guise.

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