Deviant Pleasure Markets & Digital Technologies

Deviant Pleasure Markets & Digital Technologies

Drugs, Sex, Money

A Symposium at the University of Salford, Manchester

🌐 Old Fire Station, Salford, M5 4NL

Friday 14 February 2020 — 10:00-17:00

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Susanna Passonen (University of Turku)
  • Professor Teela Sanders (University of Leicester)
  • Professor Ben Light (University of Salford)
  • Dr Angus Bancroft (University of Edinburgh)

Organisers & discussants:

  • Dr Karenza Moore (University of Salford)
  • Dr Laura Connelly (University of Salford)
  • Dr Tom Redshaw (University of Salford)
Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/seerlight/art/Holo-Chamber-726366939

Digital technologies – from social media apps to cryptocurrencies – are rapidly and profoundly reshaping our world. Attention is increasingly being paid to how and why people use digital technologies to engage with illegal and/or ‘deviant’ markets for goods and services such as drugs and sex. In turn, digital technologies such as blockchain provide forms of exchange that enable such transactions to take place, often (pseudo)anonymously.

Scholars from a multitude of disciplines are focusing specifically on digital technologies and deviant pleasure markets. Such markets involve practices broadly considered deviant in wider society, such as buying and taking illegal drugs, arranging public sex, or buying and selling sex online. These practices may be viewed as at once ‘risky’, potentially harmful, and profoundly pleasurable. Those involved in deviant pleasure markets may be constructed as ‘risky’ and ‘at risk’, whilst digital technologies may both exacerbate and mitigate off/online risks and harms, such as cyber-harassment.

We have seen the recent (re)emergence of work on deviant leisure markets, yet a focus on mainstream spaces and social harms somewhat obscures the pleasures these may involve. Approaches which foreground play and (digital) affect within and across on/offline spaces indicate that the pursuit and experiences of pleasures may be transgressive and transformative, acting to resist the solidification of negative subjectivities for example.

Finally, the risks, harms and pleasures of deviant pleasure markets are unevenly distributed according to intersectional inequalities and vulnerabilities. Understanding the sociotechnical practices of individuals, groups and communities in relation to deviant pleasure markets is crucial to the advancement of knowledge about our digital age.

Email Karenza if you wish to present. Details on Contact page of this site.