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Timely Telling Tweets: Using Social Media Data to Tell the Stories of Window Sex Workers in Amsterdam Facing Major Changes to Their Working Conditions

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Part of the Palgrave Advances in Sex Work Studies book series (PASWS)

Abstract

In July 2019, the Amsterdam Government outlined five potential scenarios for the future of window prostitution in the Red-Light District. The main reason for the remodelling of window prostitution was due to nuisances caused by large crowds in the city centre, disrespectful behaviour of visitors towards sex workers and residents. Residents are fearful of the reputation that Amsterdam is obtaining with this increase in anti-social behaviour damaging the social fabric of the area leading to complaints from residents to authorities. This chapter presents a reflective evaluation of conducting a Narrative Review (NR) methodology written in ‘real-time’ from September 2019–August 2020 harvesting data from 15 window sex worker personal reflections gathered through social media platform Twitter. Making use of Twitter data, this chapter reflects ethical challenges and wider methodological issues faced when conducting this research. Focussing on practical challenges of using tweets highlighting academic shortcomings in adherence to confidentiality and ethical pathways when submitting research to plagiarism software. This chapter also explores the limitations of qualitative data exploring grey literature not written in English and barriers of translating tweets and the obstacles of performing research in real-time. Overall, this chapter seeks to offer insight to novice researchers and students who are considering this method and similar harvesting of contemporary qualitative data.

Keywords

  • Ethics
  • Narrative Review
  • Real-Time
  • Red-Light District
  • Twitter
  • Window Prostitution
  • Window Sex Workers

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-04605-6_5
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Acknowledgements

This chapter would not have been possible without continued support of my husband Mark and my pug Hyacinth both providing me with unconditional love and humour. Thanks, extends to my lifelong pals of Ian Atherton, Antony Capostagno, and Darren Foley and who provided me with excellent distractions of conversations of our shared love of Stoke City. I am grateful for UCLan for providing me with international opportunities to expand knowledge and observational research of sex work in Amsterdam enabling me to extend this unique experience to students on both MSc and BSc (Hons) Sexual Health Programme. When at times it felt never ending, ongoing encouragement from Donna Welch, experiential learning from Shona Langley were gratefully received. Acknowledgement for window sex workers, sex worker agencies, and specialists from the Sex Worker Research Hub who felt confident to publish their opinions on the proposals and the radical changes to sex working environments both academically and through Twitter must not go unnoticed as without them their voices these may not be heard in an academic environment. I hope their tireless campaigns will be listened to and actioned upon making window sex work in Amsterdam a profession to be truly proud of.

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Correspondence to Donna Finer .

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Finer, D. (2022). Timely Telling Tweets: Using Social Media Data to Tell the Stories of Window Sex Workers in Amsterdam Facing Major Changes to Their Working Conditions. In: Sanders, T., McGarry, K., Ryan, P. (eds) Sex Work, Labour and Relations. Palgrave Advances in Sex Work Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-04605-6_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-04605-6_5

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-04604-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-04605-6

  • eBook Packages: Law and CriminologyLaw and Criminology (R0)