Helen Rand

Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Sociology
 Helen Rand


Ask me about
  • Technology and labour
  • Sexual labour
  • Technology and consumption
  • The 'on-demand' economy


My academic interest began when seeking to understand how women's everyday lived realities are impacted by international and national policies and how women organise to resist and support policies. My Masters thesis explores the role of the women's movement on international policy design and implementation in post conflict countries. This interest led me to explore the global sex worker's rights movement and understand the influence sex workers were having on policies that affected their everyday lived realities. During this process, it became apparent that there was little policy attention in the UK being given to the expanding market of technology-mediated sexual services. I am currently in the third year of a PhD programme in the Department of Sociology and am writing on the findings from an online ethnography, qualitative interviews with providers and customers of sexual services, as well as basic quantitative data extracted from a platform. I have recently contributed to an Anthill podcast on the future of sex. It can be found here: More broadly, I am interested in gender and work, and feminist research practice and methodologies.


  • Masters in International Development University of Manchester (2010)

  • BA (Hons) in Politics and the Study of Religions School of Oriental and African Studies (2002)

Research and professional activities


Providers and 'Punters' of technology mediated sexual services: A sociological study of sex work in the digital age (working title).

Supervisor: Dr Isabel Crowhurst and Professor Joan Busfield



Colchester Campus

Working pattern:

Academic support hours Thursday 2.30 - 3.30 Office 4.138