Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Sarah Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Vin Lyon-Callo

Third Advisor

Dr. Catherine Kothari


Sex work, trafficking, anti-human trafficking, activism, unintended consequences

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Human trafficking has become a national conversation and concern. Grassroots organizations designed to combat human trafficking spring up rapidly and help shape public perception on what trafficking is – and what it isn’t. Drawing on participant observation and indepth interviewing, I speak with anti-trafficking advocates determined to eradicate human trafficking and sex workers who prefer to stay in their profession. This thesis will largely explore the unintended consequences of well-meaning advocacy, and the tension between their views on the sex industry and the views from within the sex industry. I aim to use this work not only as a local case study through which to view notions of victimization, advocacy and agency, but also to contribute to a growing body of knowledge that incorporates the voices of sex workers and highlights their experiences as valuable contributions to policy and discourse.

Included in

Anthropology Commons