Facebook: ideal for prostitution?
Sudhir Venkatesh, a professor at Columbia University, examined the use of Facebook by New Yorkers prostitutes. It is clear that the famous social network has attracted many of these practitioners paid sex ...
The survey of 290 prostitutes in New York began in 2003. At that time, Professor of Sociology found that nearly 10% of call girls used the U.S. site Craigslist ads to knock their customers. But in 2008, it was not surprise to see this percentage fall to 3% and, for the benefit of Facebook.
The social network has not only conquered the Craigslist accustomed to but also new members since that year is 25% of prostitutes who used it! This attraction for Facebook has been gathering strength: now 83% of sex workers have their own page. The question is whether we can extrapolate these results and deduce that the same is true for prostitution in Belgium.
Sudhir Venkatesh is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University in the City of New York. He is a researcher and writer on urban neighborhoods in the United States. His most recent book is Gang Leader for a Day (Penguin Press). Gang Leader received a Best Book award from The Economist, and is currently being translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, Italian, Polish, French and Portuguese. His previous work, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor (Harvard University Press, 2006) about illegal economies in Chicago, received a Best Book Award from Slate.com (2006) as well as the C. Wright Mills Award (2007). His first book, American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto (2000) explored life in Chicago public housing.
Venkatesh writes a column, entitled “Underground,” for The Daily—an Ipad-only newspaper. His editorial writings have appeared in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. He writes for Slate.com, and his stories have appeared in This American Life, WIRED, and National Public Radio.
His next book, under contract with Penguin Press, will focus on the role of black market economies—from sex work and drug trafficking to day care and entertainment—in the revitalization of New York since 1999. Venkatesh is also completing an ethnographic study of policing in the Department of Justice, where he is currently a senior research advisor.
Venkatesh’s first documentary film, Dislocation, followed families as they relocated from condemned public housing developments. The documentary aired on PBS in 2005. He directed and produced a three-part award winning documentary on the history of public housing for NPR. He recently completed At the Top of My Voice, a documentary film on a scholar and artist who return to the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia to promote democracy and safeguard human rights.
Venkatesh received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. He was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University from 1996-1999. He is currently Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, at Columbia University. He holds a visiting appointment in Columbia University’s Law School and he is a voting member of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies.