1st Edition

Gendered Power Dynamics and Exotic Dance A Multilevel Analysis

By Tina Deshotels, Craig Forsyth Copyright 2021
    144 Pages
    by Routledge

    144 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Gendered Power Dynamics and Exotic Dance examines the social phenomenon of exotic dancing. Presenting a compelling multilevel analysis of dancer interactions, organizational practices, and institutional forces, this book challenges our understanding of sexuality and power.

    Centering the voices and experiences of exotic dancers, this book explores the relationship between exotic dancing and power at the micro-interactional, meso-organizational, and macro-institutional levels, informing a feminist theory of power that seeks out systems of domination in order to challenge and change them. Through direct interviews and observations collected between 1993 and 2021 from 40 different clubs in the United States, Deshotels and Forsyth demystify the seemingly contrary findings about exotic dancing and power. They show how and why individual dancers can be simultaneously empowered and exploited beyond individual traits, interactions, or settings in the nexus of gender and power in exotic dancing.

    The book will be useful for scholarly readers in the subject areas of sociology, cultural studies, gender/sexualities studies, sex work, and organizations theory. Written in a clear, accessible manner, this book will also appeal to a general audience interested in understanding the complex interactions of gender, power, feminism, and exotic dance.

    1. Introduction: Exotic Dancing and Power

    2. Dancing with Power: Setting the Stage

    3. You’re Sitting on A Gold Mine: Exotic Dancing and Power at the Micro Interactional Level of Analysis

    4. Sex Rules: The Relationship Between Exotic Dancing, Organizational Rules and Workplace Culture

    5. McSexy: An Examination of How Market Forces and Cultural Images Impact Dancer Power

    6. The Next Stage: Power and Empowerment


    Tina H. Deshotels is a professor of sociology at the Jacksonville State University in Alabama.

    Craig J. Forsyth is a professor of sociology at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette.

    Deshotels and Forsyth add to and deepen a host of scholarship showing how power changes based on context, while generously engaging with the literature on exotic dance throughout the book. [...] Gendered Power Dynamics and Exotic Dance adds to and synthesizes much of the literature on exotic dance to advance a multi-level theory of power that helps researchers and students better understand conflicting arguments about power and sex work. I recommend Gendered Power Dynamics and Exotic Dance to scholars of the sex industry and instructors teaching courses in women, gender, and sexuality studies, especially feminist theory.
    —Barton, B. (2022), 'Power and Stripping'. Symbolic Interaction. https://doi.org/10.1002/symb.587