Skip to main content

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

Hubbard, Phil, Colosi, Rachela (2015) Respectability, morality and disgust in the night-time economy: exploring reactions to ‘lap dance’clubs in England and Wales. The Sociological Review, 63 (4). pp. 782-800. ISSN 1467-954X. E-ISSN 1467-954X. (doi:10.1111/1467-954X.12278) (KAR id:50412)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Download (194kB) Preview
[thumbnail of Hubbard_et_al-2015-The_Sociological_Review.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL


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 con- tentious 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 bound- aries of respectable masculinities and femininities, marginalizing the producers and consumers of sexual entertainment through ‘speech acts’ which identify such enter- tainment as unruly, vulgar and uncivilized. These findings are considered in the light of ongoing debates concerning the relations of morality, respectability and disgust.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1467-954X.12278
Uncontrolled keywords: class, gender, sexuality, urban sociology, sexual entertainment, night-time economy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Phil Hubbard
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2015 15:18 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year