The Full Monty? Meaning construction and performative possibilities in media depictions of the male strip show


This article questions the progressive potential of media depictions of male strip shows. I examine two overriding discourses within media representations, comparing these to the experiences of male dancers and female customers gleaned through ethnographic fieldwork in two strip venues. Namely, the media’s portrayal of the masculinity of male strippers as ‘fragile’; together with the construction of dancers as ‘fantasy’ subjects who know ‘what women want’. The article interrogates these constructions in relation to a critique of women’s opportunities to exercise an erotic ‘gaze’; the operation of racist and classist discourses of consuming ‘difference’ and Othering customers; and male dancers’ attempts to construct a viable sense of workplace self in the light of negative constructions of sexual labour.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Policy
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( Funding: Economic and Social Research Council for funding the ethnographic component of this research [grant number ES/F024126/1].
Uncontrolled Keywords: Class,gender,male strip show,media,racism,sexuality,Gender Studies,Anthropology
Publication ISSN: 1461-7382
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 07:16
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 08:51
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Related URLs: https://journal ... 363460720927641 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-06-01
Published Online Date: 2020-06-02
Accepted Date: 2020-05-26
Authors: Pilcher, Katy (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5973-8251)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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