Trafficking in Human Beings: Made and Cut to Measure? Anti-trafficking docufictions and the production of anti-trafficking truths

Kiril Sharapov (Lead / Corresponding author), Jonathan Mendel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    414 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This article responds to Gozdziak’s (2015: 30) call to explore how the knowledge that informs public debates about human trafficking is generated. Media imagery and narratives play a significant role in constructing both knowledge and ignorance. This article reflects on the construction of such knowledge by analysing how anti-trafficking docufiction videos from the Unchosen competition dramatize trafficking. We draw on Goffman’s (1974) work on frames to analyse how these videos present a simplified interpretation of reality, where certain constructed aspects of trafficking and exploitation are represented by video-makers as illustrating the general. In doing so, we highlight how anti-trafficking docufictions help efface everyday exploitation. The article contributes both to the empirical research on the construction of knowledge about trafficking, and to critical conceptual work on (anti)trafficking, exploitation and ignorance. It is part of a broader project to challenge exceptionalizing and individualizing representations of human trafficking – aiming to engage better with everyday exploitation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)540-560
    Number of pages21
    JournalCultural Sociology
    Volume12
    Issue number4
    Early online date12 Sept 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

    Keywords

    • Agnotology
    • docufictions
    • exploitation
    • frames
    • ignorance
    • media
    • public opinion
    • trafficking in human beings

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • General Social Sciences

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