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Sexual harassment and the right to everyday life

Boyer, Kate ORCID: 2022. Sexual harassment and the right to everyday life. Progress in Human Geography 46 (2) , pp. 398-415. 10.1177/03091325211024340

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Freedom from harassment is a basic human right and precondition to mental and physical health. While sexual harassment has become a higher-profile issue in recent years across a range of cultural contexts, including through the global rise of the #MeToo movement and the Everyday Sexism project, this issue has also attracted the attention of policymakers at the highest levels, leading, in the UK, to a Parliamentary Inquiry in 2018 on sexual harassment in public places, and a briefing paper on sexual harassment in higher education from the House of Commons in 2018. All of these highlight the urgent need for both deeper understanding and cultural change on this issue. Meanwhile, sexual harassment constitutes an important area of academic inquiry across a wide range of scholarly fields including psychology, sociology, women’s studies, criminology, law and social policy as well as geography. This article critically reviews key trends in scholarship on sexual harassment in public. It focuses on the spatial contexts of the street, the night-time economy and higher education institutions. A fundamental question of spatial justice, I argue that sexual harassment can be approached through three conceptual lenses: the relational emergence of bodies; the politics of everyday spatial practice; and the ways affects and the atmospheres they generate shape spatial experience. I argue that geographers have a vital role to play in advancing knowledge on this issue, and conclude by outlining a research agenda tracing outlines along which this work might unfold.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0309-1325
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 8 July 2021
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 14:15

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