Naked Lives: Inside the Worlds of Exotic Dance

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Looks at the experience of being an exotic dancer in different kinds of strip clubs.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Most studies of the sex industry focus on the feminists’ debates resulting from the 1980 sex wars, which question if the nature of sex work is good or bad for women. However, Bradley-Engen in her ethnographic study moves the discourse beyond this debate, and argues that the level of exploitation, or empowerment, women experience working in the exotic dance industry depends in which types of clubs they work … Bradley-Engen’s study adds to the field of the sociology of women, labor stratification, and future directions of sex industry research.” — Contemporary Sociology

“Naked Lives offers highly readable shifts between Bradley-Engen’s reflections on her own experiences as a dancer and the experiences of other business-insiders … First-person narratives convincingly convey exotic dancers’ feelings of anger, frustration, and affirmation, while the author’s application of a ‘social worlds’ template is original and innovative.” — Canadian Journal of Sociology

“Unlike other studies of exotic dancers that rely on interviews with dancers or ethnographies of strip clubs, this book combines the author’s own personal narratives with formal interviewing and observations. She utilizes great quotes and offers powerful imagery of an industry that otherwise can easily be misunderstood or sensationalized. She quickly brings the reader into the club world by opening the chapters with her personal experiences.” — Lisa Pasko, coauthor of The Female Offender: Girls, Women, and Crime, Second Edition

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438426068
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 5/7/2009
  • Series: Excelsior Editions
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 146
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mindy S. Bradley-Engen is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas.

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction

My Interest
Applying a Social Worlds Perspective

2. Methodology

Analytical Approach
The Dancers

3. Dancing at the Hustle Club

The Social World of the Hustle Club

The Pussycat

Adjusting to the World of the Hustle Club

Brianna’s Story

4. Dancing at the Show Club

The Social World of the Show Club


Adjusting to the World of the Show Club

Rachel’s Story

5. Dancing at the Social Club

The Social World of the Social Club


Adjusting to the World of the Social Club

Club Initiation
Nadia’s Story

6. The Social Worlds of Exotic Dance

The Work and Normative Order of the Hustle Club
Explaining Career Continuity: The World of the Hustle Club
The Work and Normative Order of the Show Club
Explaining Career Continuity: The World of the Show Club
The Work and Normative Order of the Social Club
Explaining Career Continuity: The World of the Social Club

7. Conclusion

Future Directions . . .
Club Typology Trends
Challenging the “Exploitation versus Liberation” Debate

Selected Bibliography

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