Dr Billie M Lister


Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education


01482 346311

Billie has extensive experience conducting qualitative research investigating the commercial sex industry around the UK.

She has looked at the criminalisation of ‘kerb-crawlers’ in Scotland and the impact this had on the working strategies of women involved in street prostitution in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Her PhD looked at changing working conditions inside Scotland’s lap-dancing venues, from the perspective of dancers.

Billie specialises in participant-centred research around sensitive topics. Her most recent research looked at the impact of current legislation on indoor sex workers in England.


Research Interests

  • Commercial sex industry

  • International sex tourism

  • Social media, modernity and identity

  • Participatory action research

  • Ethnography

  • Feminist standpoint theory

  • The sociology of tattooing and body modification


Lister B, ‘The impact of criminalisation on indoor sex workers in England and Wales and the need for legislative change', in FitzGerald S A and McGarry K (eds), Realising Justice for Sex Workers: An Agenda for Change, Global Political Economies of Gender and Sexuality, Policy Network, London (2018)

Hubbard P, Lister B, ‘Sexual Entertainment, Dread Risks and The Heterosexualisation of Community Space', in Maginn P J and Steinmetz C(eds), (Sub)Urban SexScapes - Geographies and Regulation of the Sex Industries, Routledge, London (2014)

Lister B, '"Yeah, they’ve started to get a bit fucking cocky"... Culture, economic change and shifting power relations within the Scottish lap-dancing industry', Graduate Journal of Social Science, 11(2), pp 38-54 (2015)

Lister B, Triple Book Review: Prostitution Policy in the Nordic Region: Ambiguous Sympathies by Skilbrei M and Holmstrom C, Leaving Prostitution: Getting Out and Staying Out of Sex Work by Oselin S, and Selling Sex: Experience, Advocacy and Research on Sex Work in Canada by van der Meulen E, Durisn E M and Love V, The British Journal of Criminology, 56 (1), pp 196–201 (2016)

Lister B, Book Review: Prostitution in the Community, Attitudes, Action and Resistance by Kingston S, The British Journal of Criminology, 56(3), pp 626–627 (2016)


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Sex Work, Policy and Crime,

  • Criminal Evidence and Investigation

  • Gender, Sexualities and Crime

Research PhDs

Female sex work in the UK and internationally, including prostitution, lapdancing/stripping, internet sex work, deviant lifestyles/sub groups, cultural sexualisation, participatory action research, ethnography, social media, modernity and identity construction.

Completed PhDs

  • Ahearne G, A Thematic Analysis of the Experiences of Female Sex Workers in Prison, Leeds Beckett University (2017)

Teaching awards and accolades

  • HEA Fellowship

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Leeds Beckett University (2016)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology, University of Stirling

  • MSc Applied Social Research (ESRC accredited), University of Stirling

  • PhD Sociology and Social Policy, University of Stirling

Awards and accolades

  • Leeds Beckett Early Career Research Prize 2016-17

  • ESRC 3+1 studentship 2006-2012