Respectability, morality and disgust in the night-time economy: exploring reactions to 'lap dance' clubs in England and Wales

Hubbard, Phil and Colosi, Rachela (2015) Respectability, morality and disgust in the night-time economy: exploring reactions to 'lap dance' clubs in England and Wales. Sociological Review, 63 (4). pp. 782-800. ISSN 0038-0261

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Abstract

The night‐time economy is often described as repelling consumers fearful of the ‘undesirable Others’ imagined dominant within such time‐spaces. In this paper we explore this by describing attitudes towards, and reactions to, one particularly contentious site: the ‘lap dance’ club. Often targeted by campaigners in England and Wales as a source of criminality and anti‐sociality, in this paper we shift the focus from fear to disgust, and argue that Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEVs) are opposed on the basis of moral judgments that reflect distinctions of both class and gender. Drawing on documentary analysis, survey results and interview data collected during guided walks, we detail the concerns voiced by those anxious about the presence of lap dance or striptease clubs in their town or city, particularly the notion that they ‘lower the tone’ of particular streets or neighbourhoods. Our conclusion is that the opposition expressed to lap dance clubs is part of an attempt to police the boundaries of respectable masculinities and femininities, marginalizing the producers and consumers of sexual entertainment through ‘speech acts’ which identify such entertainment as unruly, vulgar and uncivilized. These findings are considered in the light of ongoing debates concerning the relations of morality, respectability and disgust.

Additional Information:PMCID: PMC5042065
Keywords:class, gender, sexuality, urban sociology, sexual entertainment, night?time economy
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:31184
Deposited On:06 Mar 2018 11:03

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