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Serving beers, turning tricks and keeping the change: An ethnographic study of Mexican lap dancing club waiters

Castañeda Ochoa, Jorge Vladimir (2020) Serving beers, turning tricks and keeping the change: An ethnographic study of Mexican lap dancing club waiters. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, Utrecht University. (KAR id:83574)

Language: English

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This is an empirically grounded, ethnographic study that looks at the role of tipping in club social control and in the production and reproduction of workplace hierarchies. Using data collected through first-person, situated interactions with club customers, dancers, and other employees, I argue that waiters hold a pivotal role in club social control. In brokering deals between customers and dancers and promoting club services, they enforce club norms. The thesis follows an inductive approach, with a narrative moving in the direction of increasing conceptual complexity. It begins with empirical observations on the behaviour and interactions between space and routines of a club's employees, shifts to the analysis of these vignettes using the concepts of citationality and indexicality and finally arrives at a discussion and critique of the theory of differential association - reinforcement. The findings show that waiters hold a crucial role in the operation of Mexican lap dancing clubs. Waiters are key figures responsible for enforcing their customers' adherence to club norms, are the employees responsible for mediating their customers' relationship with club services. Despite lacking the capacity to determine the dancers' willingness to interact with specific customers, they use their knowledge about dancer services and customer fantasies about dancer sexuality to portray themselves as club gatekeepers effectively reconstructing themselves as dominant figures in the process.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Hubbard, Philip
Thesis advisor: Duggan, Marian
Thesis advisor: Siegel-Rozenblit, Dina
Uncontrolled keywords: Lap dancing, Mexico, Waiters, tipping strategies, prostitution, informal social control, norm enforcement, deviance
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: Organisations -1 not found.
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2020 09:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 11:18 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Castañeda Ochoa, Jorge Vladimir.

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