Flexible Workers : Labour, Regulation and the Political Economy of the Stripping Industry
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.