Striptease and other types of erotic dance increasingly make up a large, lucrative and visible part of the sex industries in the United Kingdom and 'lap dancing' has become the focus of many important contemporary debates about gender, work and sexuality. This new book from Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy moves away from the more traditional focus on the relations between dancers and customers, to a focus on regulation and the working conditions experienced by those working in stripping work. Drawing on interviews, survey data and participant observation with dancers, managers, regulators and other staff, Sanders and Hardy present the first ever nationwide study of the stripping industry and the working lives of those within it.
The book explores the reasons for the expansion of the industry in the United Kingdom and the experiences, opinions and perspectives of those that produce and shape it. Placing dancers' voices centre stage, it examines the wider political economy which shapes dancers' engagement in employment in the stripping industry, pointing towards the wider conditions of the labour market and growing privatisation of Higher Education as explanatory factors for its labour supply. In suggesting a new feminist politics of stripping, dancers voice their own political awareness of erotic dance and an intersectional analysis of solidarity with workers in the stripping industry is foregrounded.
Presenting a 360 degree view of the industry, this ground-breaking study presents systematic evidence for the first time on this area of social life which has become central as a strategy of survival, class mobility and urban accumulation. It will appeal to undergraduate and postgraduate students across the fields of criminology, sociology, geography, labour studies and gender studies, as well as regulators, activists and even dancers themselves.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 206
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 18 mm
`If you want to be illuminated about what happens in the confines of the erotic dancing club, this is certainly the book to read. It is outstanding at challenging the myths circulated in popular culture. Its uniqueness is based on bringing a global perspective on a relational labour economy to a local form of consumption by interweaving the voices of the dancers, managers and owners through a nuanced analysis of why, what and how.' - Beverley Skeggs, Professor of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
`Flexible Workers lives up to its promise to consider the voices of exotic dancers in dialogue with wider political, economic, and legal shifts in the UK. Moving beyond micro-sociological analyses of the strip club, Sanders and Hardy present a holistic exploration of the landscape of exotic dance, focusing on the social and economic conditions that produce and enable its consumption. The impact of widespread social changes, exploitative labor markets, and ill-founded regulation is deftly illustrated through interviews with dancers, whose bodies are too often disciplined and controlled in the name of "protection".' - Katherine Frank, Scholar-in-Residence, American University, USA
'Flexible Workers is successful in setting out what it aims to do, offering the reader significant insight into the UK stripping industry, informing policy, challenging the `mythologies' associated with it and situating this form of labour within the wider politicaleconomy, rather than simply discussing it within the context of other sex-industries. This book is highly recommended to anyone researching, studying or working in the stripping industry, as it clearly is, and will continue to be, a key text in this field of study.'- Rachela Colosi, University of Lincoln, UK. Sociology (Sage)
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