Photography projects can draw our attention, poignantly, to class inequality.  Consider Vivian Mayer’s vintage photographs of New York and Chicago, for example, or Peter Menzel’s What We Own series.  We need these projects because most of us are in class-segregated occupations and neighborhoods, not to mention a profoundly unequal world.

Photographer James Mollison has embarked on a similar project, Where Children Sleep, sent in by Kristina Killgrove, an anthropologist at Vanderbilt University, Yvette M., Amanda B., Dmitriy T.M., and my sister, Keely.  Mollison has documented children and their bedrooms around the world.  It’s heartbreaking to see how much some children have, and how little others do.


See the pictures, with details about the children, at the New York Times.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

At her blog, Laura Agustin, author of Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry, asks the question posed by this post.  She explains:

With all uproar focused on the morality of buying and selling sex, most people have little idea what much of the sex industry actually looks like. Or rather, the media repeatedly show the same images of women in short skirts and high boots leaning into car windows, giving the impression that street hooking is the dominant situation, which is far from the truth. And, of course, we are constantly shown horrifying images of the worst sites and victims of trafficking and exploitation…

At the same time, millions of people the world over work in the sex industry, in jobs other than providing sexual services. And more millions visit, drive or walk past sites without even thinking about it because they look ordinary.

To offer an alternative view of the sex industry, she’s started an online album (here).  I’ve selected some to reproduce here.

Am Sülzwall red light district, Lüneburg, Germany (photo by Claus Petersen):


Prostitutes’ vans (Lyon, France):


Soldiers’ brothel (France, WWII):


Brothel in Linz, Austria:


Austrian brothel:


De Wallen, Amsterdam (The Netherlands):


Cottontail brothel, Nevada:


View of prostitutes in Yoshiwara, a red-light district in Tokyo from the 17th to 20th centuries (author possibly Kusakabe Kimbei):


Entrance to a Soho walk-up (New York, NY) (London) :


Brothel in Munich (Germany):


The expensive end of Basin Street, in New Orleans’s Storyville, Louisiana:


See Laura’s other contributions to Sociological Images: thinking critically about sex trafficking and questioning the benefits of “rescuing” prostitutes.

In this video, from the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof argues that sweatshops are, despite their drawbacks, the best option for many people in many places… and that anti-sweatshop activists should keep that in mind.