Rambo, Carol, Sara Renée Presley, and Don Mynatt. 2006. “Claiming the Bodies of Exotic Dancers: The Problematic Discourse of Commodification.”

Rambo, Carol, Sara Renée Presley, and Don Mynatt. 2006. “Claiming the Bodies of Exotic Dancers: The Problematic Discourse of Commodification.” In Body/Embodiment: Symbolic Interaction and the Sociology of the Body, eds. Dennis Waskul and Phillip Vannini. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. Pgs. 213-228.

Strippers stigmatized for stripping away propriety, commodifying sex acts and sexuality, constructing a discourse – imbuing the act with meaning, presupposing change. Constructed with discourse of deviance, contingency, exploitation and liberation. Under exploitation discourses – women who strip are exploited and subordinate, constructed as objects to be consumed instead of agent. When women “own” stripping, or take on discourse of empowerment, often accused of false consciousness. Dichotomizing liberation and exploitation may not be fruitful, instead “The idea of complex personhood explodes victim/agent dichotomies that are typically used to explain relationships between women and their bodies… Lives and identities are complicated and often contradictory and women move fluidly amidst identities and victim/agent constructions” (Wesley 2001 here 218). “The multiplicity of dancers experiences are both exploitative and agentic… as well as many things in between… problematizing the binarization of exploited victim and liberated woman as theorized in both radical and pro-sex feminist paradigms” (Egan 2000 here 218). Research on sex work as stigmatized – sociologically, psychologically – but many dancers frame themselves within empowerment models .

CITES

Egan, R. Danielle. 2000. “The Phallus Palace: Stripping Spaces, Desiring Subjects, and the Fantasy of Objects.” Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 61, November 2066-A.

Wesley, Jennifer K. 2001. “Lived Experiences and Negotiated Gender: Female Exotic Dancing, Body Technologies and Violence.” Dissertation Abstracts International, A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 62, 2, Aug 782-A.

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