People, Politics Economics Society, Technology

Architects’ perspective on prostitution, migration and urban territory

MAS Context a quarterly architectural journal features an essay on the interconnection of prostitution, migration, and urban territory.

Prostitution is generally and traditionally defined as an exchange of sexual services for money or material remuneration. However, according to Marxist theory, it is more than that, because of the notion of power over one person’s body by another. ‘Sex work’ exerts individually a right of command over another’s person for a time: domination. Control over bodies might be the main goal of all societies and is, over women bodies, fundamental. Doubtfully, it is no overstatement to extend this projection to the urban space and the desire of control exerted by authorities over prostitution. Domination, particularly in terms of space, is conflict generating. When street- practiced or in reserved districts de facto visible, prostitution is often attached to general degradation of life quality and stigmatization of areas, as dirty, dangerous and depraved. The conflict between prostitution and the urban space relates to the sexualisation of the city and the production of moral geographies, and to the consequent migrations.

The essay features the city of Zurich which has one of the highest ratio of prostitutes per capita.  The complete publication is here.

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