Shadow Host Economies: Sex Work and the Sport Mega-Event (Mega-Events Footprints: Past, Present, and Future)

This book is a collection of texts that symbolizes a channel between academia and industry experts to public or private sector managers. Diverse themes make up the work such as urban regeneration, sustainability, innovations, sports event brands, visions of official sponsors, and others.

Our contribution to this volume focuses on how sport mega-events promote urban redevelopment across host cities, while at the same time celebrating “healthy” and “respectable” bodies. Sexual minorities are often treated as a perversion or deviant incursion into the everyday life of the city, and in the midst of mega-events can find their rights to the city challenged.

Drawing on recent ethnographic research conducted with those involved in sexual commerce in Rio de Janeiro (2014 FIFA and 2016 Olympic host), we show how state-sanction repressive strategies of regulation disproportionately inhibit the movement and entrepreneurial freedom of local sex working women, yet encourage the economic entrepreneurialism of transnational elites.

On this basis we suggest empirically-informed strategies for the management of sex work by future host communities, making recommendations in partnership with those involved in the thirty-year old sex worker advocacy movement in Brazil.

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