Turn-Ons for Money: Interactional Strategies of the Table Dancer

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ethnography, dancing, dancer, interaction, service occupations, gender, gender relationships, gender negotiation, interactional strategies, Other Work, Ethnography, Arts and Humanities, Communication, Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies, Social Psychology and Interaction, Sociology


Using participant observation, retrospective and interactive introspection, and interviews, we describe interactional strategies used by erotic dancers to sell “table dances.” In contrast to past studies, we concentrate on the dynamic, processual nature of the exchange from the point of view of dancers and the dancer as researcher. Instead of emphasizing the deviant aspects of this interaction, we view it as representing a microcosm of strategies used to gain and maintain control in “respectable” exchanges, such as those employed by women in negotiating gender relationships and by sellers in buyer-dominated service occupations.