Strip Club

Gender, Power, and Sex Work

277 pages

4 illustrations

September, 2010

ISBN: 9780814767610



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Kim Price-Glynn is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Urban and Community Studies at the University of Connecticut.

All books by Kim Price-Glynn

In Strip Club, Kim Price‒Glynn takes us behind the scenes at a rundown club where women strip out of economic need, a place where strippers’ stories are not glamorous or liberating, but emotionally demanding and physically exhausting. Strip Club reveals the intimate working lives of not just the women up on stage, but also the patrons and other workers who make the place run: the owner‒manager, bartenders, dejays, doormen, bouncers, housemoms, and cocktail waitresses.

Price‒Glynn spent fourteen months at The Lion’s Den working as a cocktail waitress, and her uncommonly deep access reveals a conflict-ridden workplace, similar to any other workplace, one where gender inequalities are reproduced through the everyday interactions of customers and workers. Taking a novel approach to this controversial and often misunderstood industry, Price‒Glynn draws a fascinating portrait of life and work inside the strip club.


  • “The second I entered The Lion’s Den, passing the doorman through darkened hallways toward a parquet dancing stage, Price‒Glynn’s rich description brought me into the dilapidated and ironically profitable (for some) world of the strip club. Her deeply affecting observations make us keenly aware of the social practices that perpetuate gross inequalities. Her ethnography is both brutally honest, and sociologically sophisticated in its examination of both the fragility and tenacity of social rankings based on gender, sex, and social class.”

    —Lisa Jean Moore, co‒editor of The Body Reader:Essential Social and Cultural Readings

  • “Price-Glynn contrasts the aspirations of the strippers with the club’s design, rules, expectations, and practices, all of which served to exploit their labor. She argues that without listening to sex workers and addressing their abuse and lack of power, feminists will never take the real battle—the one against structural oppression—to the ring.”

    Ms. Magazine

  • "Price-Glynn has a real knack for what anthropologists and sociologists call 'thick description,' thereby ably transporting readers into the setting of this particular sexual subculture."


  • “In this well-researched, engagingly written book, sociologist Price-Glynn examines the processes through which men and women wield, negotiate, and contest power in a strip club—a gendered organization. Through a combination of methodological approaches—including in-depth interviews with strippers, patrons, and other employees; the author masterfully allows the reader entry into a subculture in which gender relations, power, and definitions of masculinity routinely are constructed, reconstructed, and challenged.”

    —J.R. Mitrano, Choice Magazine

  • "For readers seeking insight into how strip club labor is organized in a predominantly white, working-class club that serves alcohol, Strip Club provides a generous dose of ethnographic detail"

    —Kari Lerum, American Journal of Sociology

  • “Reads like a novel with a detailed cast of characters! With stripper poles an increasingly ubiquitous fixture in the media, there remains surprisingly little scholarship written about the day-to-day lives of people working in strip bars. Price‒Glynn reveals the grit beneath the pop‒video clichè in Strip Club, offering the reader an insider’s gaze on the employees of the Lion’s Den. Strip Club exposes a taken for granted sexism we need to be reminded of in our Girls Gone Wild culture.”

    —Bernadette Barton, author of Stripped: Inside the Lives of Exotic Dancers