Soccer & Sex : A polyvocal case study of the effects of the FIFA World Cup 2010 on South Africa's sex industry

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To answer this research question a polyphonic driven mode of research has been used. This qualitative method privileged all these competing voices at work and captured a more nuanced understanding of competing perspectives about the effects of the World Cup for South Africa’s sex industry. Several methods to gather data have been used; a literature study, participant observation and in depth interviews. Next to the examination of existing literature, during the fieldwork period 79 newspaper articles have been collected that discuss the sex industry in relation to the World Cup. The largest share of the empirical data however, has been gathered by means of in-depth interviews with members of the several groups taken into account in this study about the effects of the World Cup on the sex industry. This study has shown that five effects of the World Cup on the sex industry have occurred on two different levels. Firstly, on the macro level, the World Cup has been used by several NGO’s as a springboard for the expression of the stances in the debate about decriminalisation, in consequence the debate about decriminalization of sex work has been cranked up. Both pro- and contra parties have used the World Cup to raise awareness and gain attention for their opinions. The NGO’s Not for Sale and the Activist Network against the Exploitation of Child Domestic Workers took a more neutral stance in this debate and state that NGO’s need to start working together; they should not only look at the issues they do not agree on, but should focus on things they do agree on. Secondly, on the macro level the World Cup has also been used to raise awareness to fight human trafficking; the global event has led to an increase of the number of campaigns to fight human trafficking set up by NGO’s in Cape Town. Due to these campaigns the issue has been put on the agenda. However, the campaigns that have been set up overlap each other and have the same character. Furthermore, the NGO’s have used the hype created by the media to gain more attention for this issue. However, this hype has been exaggerated and therefore several experts have warned for a negative resource allocation of the state.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen