"Maybe I’m a quiet activist": sex work scholars and negotiations of ‘minor’ academic-activism

Mary Laing, Ian R. Cook*, Tom Baker, Octavia Calder-Dawe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


With the intensification of calls for social ‘impact’ from research, there is renewed emphasis on academic-activism as a means to realize social change. But what ‘counts’ as activism in these visions of academic-activist impact? Drawing on interviews with sex work scholars in the United Kingdom and Aotearoa New Zealand, we examine the borders—and the disruption of borders—between ‘traditional’ forms of activism and a wider array of more ‘minor’ practices frequently perceived as too ‘ordinary’ to claim that label. In doing this, we explore quiet, implicit and everyday forms of activism, arguing that activism is embodied, frequently undertaken by those who do not self-identify as activists, and sits ambivalently within broader institutional drives for research-based ‘impact’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number136346072110686
Pages (from-to)188-205
Number of pages18
Issue number1-2
Early online date1 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


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