Exploring the Impacts of Stigma and Discrimination on Female Street-Based Sex Workers

Rachel Lennon, Pranee Liamputtong, Elizabeth Hoban

Research output: Other contributionOtherpeer-review


In this article, we outline the methodology and design used to explore how female street-based sex workers who access the St Kilda Gatehouse, Melbourne, experience stigma and discrimination. The aim of the research on which this case study is based is to investigate the perceptions, experiences and impacts of stigma and discrimination on female street-based sex workers. Ethnography is both a research design and methodology that can be used to reach such vulnerable populations. A methodological framework of feminism is also used to ensure that for the researcher, reflexivity and self-disclosure can be a tool to engage sex workers and develop relationships. A total of 24 in-depth interviews, a year of observational data and a collection of media and news-related material (unobtrusive methods) were used to collect and triangulate data. This research method successfully assisted us to engage with street-based sex workers and provides information about their experiences of conducting research with this vulnerable population group.
Original languageEnglish
TypeCase Study
PublisherSAGE Research Methods Cases
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationLondon UK
ISBN (Electronic)9781473952300
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • sex work
  • stigma
  • discrimination
  • workers

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