Body Work and the Feminization of Poverty

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:
Body Work and the Feminization of Poverty

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This chapter raises the question of the feminization of poverty and concomitant monetary value assigned to young women's reproductive potential and sexuality, based on the analyses of the survival strategies of Vixens' workers. It also employs the growing social science literature on the indisputably feminized occupational activities that involve intimate contact with the body or its products, including care giving, cleaning, and, of course, sex work. Vixens' dancers do have other low-wage work and social-service provision options that could help them support themselves and their children in lieu of sex work. However, the option of working as Vixens' dancers lures them more than the so-called socially acceptable professions. In this regard, this chapter demonstrates why some (but not all) dancers believe that they can have a better life if they can manage to endure temporarily difficult, exploitative labor conditions.

Keywords: feminization of poverty; Vixens; socially acceptable professions; feminizes occupational activities

Chapter.  11862 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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