Topless Dancers: Stigma Management Techniques

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Topless Dancers

About a decade ago conducted interviews with over 40 topless dancers in seven Gentlemen's Clubs in a major metropolitan city in the Southwest with a population of approximately one million people. The research focused on how the dancers managed the stigma of their deviant occupation. It was found that while the dancers used a variety of stigma management techniques, for analytical purposes they could be collapsed within two "umbrella categories": dividing the social world (Goffman 1963); and rationalization and neutralization (Sykes and Matza 1957). This study replicates that study a decade later. The research for this current study was conducted at five gentlemen's clubs, three of which were included in the earlier study, and two additional clubs that were currently considered the most exclusive gentlemen's clubs in the city. He outcome of the study were generally quite consistent with those a decade earlier. Topless dancers still managed the stigma of their deviant occupation by dividing their social worlds and using traditional techniques of neutralization to rationalize their behavior. Additionally, they found that they relied heavily on cognitive and emotive dissonance to reduce the emotional strain of the work and to alternately embrace their role as dancer and distance themselves from it as the situation seemed to dictate. In this paper I will be explaining three different questions on the interactionist perspective and Conflict perspective.

The interactionist perspective views society as the product of countless encounters between human beings in everyday social activity. A question interaction theorist might ask would be: Why do individuals do the things that they do? On the other hand, the conflict perspective focuses on competition and conflict between social groups and the change of those results. Some questions a conflict theorist might ask are: How do other categories of people attempt to improve their social...
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