Chapter

Feminized Labor and the Classed Body

Susan Dewey

in Neon Wasteland

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520266902
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948310 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520266902.003.0002
Feminized Labor and the Classed Body

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This chapter addresses the feminization of poverty and concomitant pervasive sexualization of femininity evident in almost all spheres of life in the United States. With the advent of deindustrialization, increased poverty, and lack of formal-sector employment resulted in greater numbers of women in the sex industry. Sex workers came to inhabit a social category that positioned them in awful need of state control and assistance. Following this, it describes the lives of women workers at Vixens who are said to fill culture-specific roles by dancing in front of all-male audiences in exchange for money. It states that American erotic dance practices resulted from cultural contact between diverse communities and elaborate intersections of history, power, and difference in the construction of erotic subjectivity. Finally, it emphasizes that what women experience at Vixens is inextricably linked to the systematic devaluation of women's labor and the pervasive sexualization of femininity.

Keywords: feminization of poverty; sexualization; deindustrialization; sex industry; culture-specific roles; erotic subjectivity

Chapter.  7892 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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