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Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism - The Anthropology of Tourism: Heritage, Mobility, and Society (Hardback)
  • Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism - The Anthropology of Tourism: Heritage, Mobility, and Society (Hardback)
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Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism - The Anthropology of Tourism: Heritage, Mobility, and Society (Hardback)

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£60.00
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 11/05/2018
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B-drinking is a strategy whereby dancers, waitresses, and otherwise legally employed women illegally solicit drinks from tourists for pay. Unique to the ethnographic literature on strip clubs, Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism focuses on the role of alcohol sales in the sexual economy of Bourbon Street, New Orleans. Relying on historical material, Demovic reveals that the intimate encounters B-girls have provided have been a part of the tourism service economy since the beginning of the twentieth century. The evolution of "B-girldom" as an imagined identity created through changing representations of the practice over the decades have both reflected and constructed the experiences of women working in New Orleans' nightclubs. The B-drinker is an iconic character found in fictional and nonfictional accounts of the city. B-girls inhabit an ambiguous structural position in the performance of heritage tourism in New Orleans. Participant observation and interviews reveal that by the 1990s women who worked as B-drinkers were significant stakeholders in French Quarter tourism, able to use their informal networks to seize power over working conditions in the tourism economy of Bourbon Street. Demovic focuses on how these marginalized but critical workers have responded to stigma by creating tight knit groups which continue to support one another decades after leaving their work on Bourbon Street. This book adds the New Orleans example to a broader understanding of how sex work evolves in ways that reflect regional history and culture. Widening the ethnographic lens, Demovic looks past strip tease itself and to the economic activities of such workers when they are off the stage.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498531320
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 526 g
Dimensions: 230 x 159 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism by Angela R. Demovic is timely as strip clubs in the heritage site are under attack. People need the kind of illumination that Demovic provides to dispel myths and stop restrictive legislation and law enforcement. She sets the record straight for stigmatized clubs contrary to religious belief in modesty and patriarchy, misinformation that clubs cause crime and property depreciation, and efforts to gentrify or 'Disneyfy,' when it is the revelry and sensual atmosphere of the French Quarter that attracts tourists and provides work for all the club stakeholders. -- Judith Lynne Hanna, University of Maryland
This brave and detailed book focuses on the real experiences of working in the sexual economy of Bourbon Street. Demovic's study of B-girls breaches the rarely discussed movement of sexual entertainers across the spectrum of sexual labor, uncovering the diversity of identities of sex workers. This fluidity of practices defies clear divisions, and Demovic deconstructs the historical creation of one such legal type, the B-girl. Her long-term research reveals the sisterhood that develops within our industries, despite potential for horizontal hostility. Her investigation humanizes and destigmatizes sex workers who are central to the image of New Orleans' Bourbon Street. -- Carol Leigh, Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network
This book is unique among scholarship on sexual economies, as long-term social research on the lives of sex workers rarely occurs. Bridging tourism studies, anthropology, and feminist jurisprudence, Demovic incorporates various sources, such as local news, legal documents, court cases, surveys, and ethnographic observations and interviews to offer a "thick description" of this sexual economy in the Gulf South. Ultimately, Demovic explores how B-drinkers cater to the tourist's desire to have interactive experiences with people who represent the intangible heritage of Bourbon Street, and how the B-girls use this form of eroticized labor as an advancement strategy to meet their financial needs and aspirations. -- Erica Lorraine Williams, Spelman College

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