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Bar Crawl Radio

India Thusi on Sex Workers and the Police in Johannesburg

Season 7, Ep. 167

BCR is talking about Sex Work. We spoke with a knowledgeable scholar whose recently published book “Policing Bodies” details her ethnographic study of the interaction of sex workers – the police – and the justice system of Johannesburg, South Africa.  Prof. Thusi teaches in Bloomington at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and at the Kinsey Institute.  India has worked with the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Constitutional Rights and The Opportunity Agenda. 

Early in her career – India clerked for the South African Constitutional Court – and was curious about the rough neighborhood down the block from the Court. Her two-year study of the interaction of Johannesburg police and that city’s sex workers began in May of 2013. What India Thusi learned in South Africa may help us think more deeply about our own American attitudes on sex work.

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