Prostitutes, Ponces and Poncing: Making Sense of Violence

  • Jo Phoenix
Part of the Explorations in Sociology. British Sociological Association Conference Volume Series book series (EIS)


This chapter examines the contradictory ways in which women engaged in prostitution make sense of ‘poncing’ relationships (i.e. intimate relationships between men and prostitute-women within which the practice of financial exploitation (often) via threat of violence occurs). It is divided into five sections. In the first section I address the way in which previous academic work on ponces, poncing and prostitutes has made sense of the phenomena with particular attention paid to the conceptual framework within which the issues are debated. The second section outlines some of the empirical realities of poncing, the effects of these upon the women who experience them and the ways that individual prostitute-women have talked about the men who financially exploited and abused them. In the third section I briefly describe the protocols for analysis that I adopted when analysing the empirical data collected. The fourth section explores and explains the contradictory and multiple ways in which prostitute-women have made sense of their exploitative and abusive intimate relationships. By way of conclusion I offer a few thoughts on the implications of the arguments contained in this chapter — especially in terms of the question of resistance.


Intimate Relationship Abusive Relationship Empirical Reality Financial Exploitation Hide Cost 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© British Sociological Association 1999

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  • Jo Phoenix

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