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:

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This chapter argues that the individual life choices of the dancers, and their perceptions of sustainable alternatives to work in the legal sex industry must be understood in the context of feminized labor. Demystifying sex work in this way renders the gendered forms taken by the structural violence of poverty. It suggests that examining life on the margins exposes stark inequalities inherent in the operations of power, because the intensity of the everyday structural violence created by such injustices, becomes impossible to ignore. Furthermore, it reflects that the women, who work as dancers at Vixens, find themselves in a socially isolating profession that they tend to see as a short-term survival strategy amid generalized poverty and limited economic opportunities. Finally, it states that the ubiquity of such institutions indicates that they are part of broader socioeconomic processes that simultaneously provide income-generating opportunities to poor young women and keep them from marginalization.

Keywords: life choices; sex industry; structural violence; feminized labor; Vixens; marginalization

Chapter.  8792 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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