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The Archaeology of Prostitution and Clandestine Pursuits$
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Rebecca Yamin and Donna J. Seifert

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056456

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056456.001.0001

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Selling Sex and Keeping Secrets

Selling Sex and Keeping Secrets

(p.143) 7 Selling Sex and Keeping Secrets
The Archaeology of Prostitution and Clandestine Pursuits

Rebecca Yamin

Donna J. Seifert

University Press of Florida

This chapter summarizes the archaeological evidence for agency in all sorts of situations, but it treats prostitution as a “special case.” The argument that prostitutes did (and do) not have agency is discussed and arguments for and against decriminalization in the present are compared to similar arguments in the past. To an extent, decriminalizers resemble nineteenth-century regulationists and abolitionists resemble antireglementarians. The chapter discusses the anthropological problem of making value judgments, especially as it applies to prostitution and other acts of agency. Emphasis is placed on the value of anomalous finds for identifying clandestine pursuits.

Keywords:   decriminalization, regulationists, abolitionists, antireglementarians, anomalous finds, judgements, agency, prostitutes

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