This proposed book is an anthology of both original and reprinted articles on sexuality from a sociological perspective. The readings in this collection focus on the diverse and multi-layered meanings of sexuality, sexual behaviors and sexual identities. The essays in this book will explore sexuality as a social process. As a whole, the book takes the perspective that what each of us understands to be sexual is constructed through everyday social processes and interaction, situated in particular spaces and moments, identified through our social-sexual presentations, and symbolized through language, objects and practices. The book is organized around these four distinct but interrelated processes, and augmented by personal narratives around relevant issues. The purpose of this book is to broaden students' perspectives on sexuality by providing them with a consistent framework to help them understand sexualities as social phenomena. The authors' goals for the book are: to engage students in the sociological enterprise by providing interesting and insightful entries that emphasize the importance of meaning-making in human sexuality, and to provide them with conceptual tools to understand human sexuality in a complex and quickly-changing sexual landscape.
Chapter 17: Backroom “Dance”
EDITORS’ NOTES: Ruby Pearson's story about her experience as a stripper is similar to Stella's. Like Stella, she, too, is a feminist, and she has to deal with a conflict between her occupation and her feminist beliefs. This tension has been richly explored by symbolic interactionists and ethnographers, including Carol Rambo Ronai (1998), Danielle Egan (2006), and Katherine Frank (2002). Ronai and Ellis (1989) frame stripping as a manipulation via “interactional strategies” or what Pasko (2002) later calls a confidence game, in which “strippers manipulate symbolic communication and create emotional control over their patrons” (50). The men, however, “still possess a pervasive power: the sex-object role dancers must assume and perform is defined and managed ...