Charlie Barnao

Nightclubs and prostitution: Between conservation and cultural experimentation

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Prostitution, sex work, subculture, gender, heterotopy

The subject of my study is female prostitution in nightclubs. Based on the results of an ethnographic research conducted in Italy, the phenomenon is described, highlighting certain aspects: roles and organizational structures, relational dynamics, emotional labor, prostitute/client interactions, communication codes and gender differences. The main findings of my research are: a) there are specific subcultures within the phenomenon of prostitution; b) the subculture of prostitution has important connections with and elements of integration into the dominant culture; c) nightclubs are heterotopies (Foucault) that, depending on the time period and culture, become places of cultural innovation and experimentation or, on the contrary, places of conservation and reaction to the emancipation of women. The picture that emerges is that of a complex and varied phenomenon which quickly transforms and adapts itself to market needs, maintaining, however, a clear cultural horizon of reference.

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