Research Topics

Burlesque/striptease, sex work, sociology of sport and culture, the history of sexuality, qualitative research methods, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender politics and community formation, sexuality and the law, sociology of the family & nation-building

Research Interests

As a queerly feminist, anti-racist historical sociologist, I interrogate themes of sexual and gender identity, racial/ethnic diversity, community formation, space/place, and state regulation. In particular, I probe discourses and practices of identities, families, communities, and the nation, in the context of legacies of colonial rule, medicalization, stigmatization, and criminalization. Constructions of marginality, in/equality, and distributions of power are among my core political and analytical preoccupations.

In 2008, with Jamie Lee Hamilton, I co-founded the West End Sex Work Memorial Project.  We aim to recognize the once-vibrant ‘above ground’ brothel culture of sex workers in Vancouver’s West End from 1975-1985 through the installation of a permanent memorial marker in the neighbourhood.

Selected Publications

Becki Ross and Rachael Sullivan, “Tracing Lines of Horizontal Hostility: How Sex Workers and Gay Liberation Activists Battled for Space, Voice, and Belonging in Vancouver, 1975-1985,” Sexualities 15: 5/6 (September 2012):  604-621.

Becki Ross, “Outdoor Brothel Culture: The Un/Making of a Transsexual Stroll in Vancouver’s West End, 1975-1984,” Journal of Historical Sociology (March 2012): 126-150.

Becki Ross, “Sex and (Evacuation from) the City:  The Moral and Legal Regulation of Sex Workers in Vancouver’s West End, 1975-1985,” Sexualities 13:2 (April, 2010): 197-218.

Becki Ross and Oralia Gomez Ramirez, “Extinguishing the Temptation of ‘Monetary Inducements’:  The State Regulation and Stigmatization of Adult Entertainment Recruiters at Job Fairs in British Columbia,” Canadian Theatre Review, forthcoming, Fall 2013.

Becki Ross and Sharon Lebenkoff,  “Till Death Do Us Part?  Dating, Cohabitation, Marriage, and Same-Sex Marriage,” in Canadian Families, Kelly Train, ed. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Ltd., forthcoming, September 2013.

Burlesque West: Showgirls, Sex, and Sin in Postwar Vancouver, University of Toronto Press, 2009. Profiled on CBC radio (“The Current”, “North By Northwest,” and “On the Coast”), in the Globe and Mail, Xtra! West, BC Bookworld and at the Vancouver Public Library.

Recent Presentations

“Revisiting the West End Stroll, Prostitution Culture, and Legal Expulsion,” in the series, “Then and Now: Vancouver’s Sex Trade,” Vancouver Police Museum, April 18, 2013

“Slut Shaming, Exoticization, and Self-Perfectability,” at “It’s Complicated, A discussion forum on sex, dating, and college culture,” University of British Columbia, March 20, 2013

“Domestic Violence Reconsidered: The Legal and Moral Repression of On-Street Prostitution in Vancouver, 1975-1985”, at  “Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence: Exploring the Continuum of Violence Against Women and Girls.”  Conference co-sponsored by EVA BC and FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, November 9, 2012, Vancouver, BC.

“’Remedying A Nuisance’: the State and Extra-State Campaign to Purge on-Street Prostitution from Vancouver’s West End, 1975-1985,” on the panel, “Vancouverism(s): Building and Regulating Urban Vitality,” Social Science History Association Conference, Vancouver, November 2, 2012.

Winter 2018
No SOCI course(s) were found for W2018 term.Winter 2018
No SOCI course(s) were found for W2018 term.


Ph.D. Sociology of Education, 1992, University of Toronto
M.A. Physical and Health Education, 1984, Queen’s University
B.A. Physical and Health Education, 1982, University of Western Ontario


Becki was awarded the “Clio Book Prize: British Columbia,” Canadian Historical Association (CHA) at the President’s Gala, The Congress meetings, Concordia University, Montréal, May 31, 2010, in recognition of excellence in historical research and writing

Other Affiliations

Cross-appointed to the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice (GRSJ)

Faculty Associate, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

‘Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor,” McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, September 2013

Consultant/Advisory Board Member, “Sex Talk in the City” exhibit, Museum of Vancouver (to September 2013)

Co-organizer and Moderator, “Brothels, Strolls, and Stilettos: histories of sex work in Vancouver,” Museum of Vancouver, April 26, 2013

Recipient of the Killam Teaching Prize, Faculty of Arts, 2005

Recipient of the Undergraduate Sociology Students’ Association Teaching Prize, Sociology Department, 2008