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Title: Undressing the moves - an ethnographic study of lap-dancers and lap-dancing club culture
Author: Colosi, Rachela
ISNI:       0000 0001 3560 9068
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2008
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The lap-dancing club phenomenon is relatively new in the UK and as a result, in the last decade, it has aroused much public debate. Despite this, the study of this industry here in the UK has been neglected, with the body of research confined to the U.S and Canada. In spite of gaining some academic attention abroad, the literature, which has emerged from the research, suggests a narrow field of interest, concerned with exploitation, risk and dancer motivation. Further to this, there has also been a tendency to address dancer-customer interaction; the relationship between dancers has been ignored. Finally, the general approach of researchers has been to stress the negative implications of a lap-dancing career on the dancers; reflected in the deviant and implicit anti-sex work/exploitation frameworks which have dominated academic thinking in this field of study. Through the use of ethnographic methods the research on which this thesis is based redresses these issues. The data for this research was generated in a UK lap-dancing club using extensive participant observation, estimated at over 2000 hours, along with in-depth interviews to supplement the core findings. The main focus of study was on the relationships between dancers and the culture with which they mutually engage. Through this exploration, some of the key areas of academic interest including dancer motivation, risk and exploitation were directly or implicitly challenged. Further to this, through delving into the relationship between dancers, an understanding of the way in which these relationships are used to cultivate and reinforce dancer status roles in the club was developed. In relation to this, a dancer hierarchy has been identified, comprising of three stages: new girl, transition and old school. Finally, the lap-dancing club culture, which is not only signified by some of the duties of the job, but also by the „social‟ and „emotional‟ rituals with which dancers mutually engage, is also addressed. Although the negative implications of lap-dancing club culture are acknowledged, the social fulfilment and subcultural attachment dancers have to their occupation is also emphasised. This research therefore starts to shift our understanding of the lap-dancing club phenomenon and reconstruct it within a UK context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available