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Identities Do Not Belong in a Box: Understanding Identity Construction, Negotiation & Communication for Escorts and Escort Agency Owners

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posted on 2021-05-24, 09:28 authored by Cleo Pyke
This Master’s Research Paper (MRP) seeks to better understand how both escorts and escort agency owners construct, negotiate and communicate their identities in the context of their lives. Using Erving Goffman’s theories on stigmatization, identity formation, and performance theory, combined with in-depth qualitative interviews, I aim to better understand of the dynamic nature of the participants’ identities. The qualitative nature of the research will explore how both human agency and social constructs impact and inform their lived experiences communicating and constructing each of their respective identities. The findings reveal that there are significant gaps in the existing literature on communication and sex work; the current literature focuses heavily on a victim-based narrative of sex work, with particular emphasis on the outdoor population of sex workers. This ignores the experiences of those who work in the peripheries of the sex industry (e.g. agency owners), as well as the escorts themselves, who have willingly chosen to engage in this line of work without coercion.





Master of Professional Communication


Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type