Professional practices of sex: The knowledge of sex workers in the streets of iquique

Jacqueline Espinoza-Ibacache, Lupicinio íñiguez-Rueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


© 2018 Universidad de Tarapaca. In the present article we identify the denominations, definitions and ways of doing of women who practice professional sex in the streets of Iquique (the capital of the Tarapacá Region, northern Chile). We have adopted an ethnomethodological perspective, which focuses on the methods used by social actresses to give meaning to their actions, to carry out an ethnography that included observations and in-depth interviews with sex workers from the streets of Iquique. We argue that these social actresses refer to professional sex practices a work; however, the moralizing and legal actions of the context contribute to their being defined as a delegitimized social practice. This definition has an impact on these sex workers' ways of doing things regarding the management of their family relationships, the management of public and private space, gender relations, and uses of language. By focusing on the production of tiny strategies and procedures, which allow these workers to resist on a daily basis, we do not intend to normalize their precariousness, but rather to point out that their agency gives us a privileged point of view on how to challenge the limits of hegemonic patterns that define the feminine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-671
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Actrices sociales
  • Ethnomethodology
  • Etnometodología
  • Normas en uso
  • Norms in use
  • Prácticas sociales
  • Sex work
  • Social actresses
  • Social practices
  • Trabajo sexual


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