From Russia With Love? Newspaper Coverage of Cross Border Prostitution in Northern Norway, 1990-2001

Dag Stenvoll
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This article examines national news reports on prostitution of Russian women in northern Norway between 1990 and 2001. Applying critical discourse analysis, the author shows how this particular type of cross-border, rural prostitution is represented as sexual transaction, as a sociopolitical problem (of public order, public health, social/moral breakdown and stigma), and as a symbolic issue used to legitimize stricter border controls. Images of prostitutes, pimps and customers are also discussed. The different thematizations are in turn connected to various historical practices of state regulation of sexuality, to constructions of group identities based on moral categories, and to social definitions of what is normal and what is deviant.

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