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Leaving ProstitutionGetting Out and Staying Out of Sex Work$
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Sharon S. Oselin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814785881

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814785881.001.0001

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Still Getting On

Still Getting On

Embracing a New Role and Identity

(p.103) 5 Still Getting On
Leaving Prostitution

Sharon S. Oselin

NYU Press

This chapter describes prostitute-serving organizations (PSO) clients' adoption of a new role and identity, and how this commitment facilitates transformation. Sociologist Erving Goffman defines this process as an “act where participants publicly embrace the ideologically defined member role as an authentic expression of their experience.” This separation from prostitution also carves out the emotional and psychological space for women to formulate a new sense of self. In addition, there are two types of identity that emerge as salient in this phase: One encompasses how individuals view themselves and the other is derived from outsiders' perceptions. These two constitute personal and social identities, respectively.

Keywords:   prostitute-serving organizations, Erving Goffman, role embracement, social identities, personal identities

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