Utilizing participatory action research with dancers in the Minneapolis strip club industry, the present study examined current dancers’ experiences with stigma, its effects on their quality of life, and stigma management techniques. The present multi-methods study involved an initial survey and follow-up interviews with approximately 60 current dancers within Minneapolis strip clubs. Participants reported experiencing stigma in personal relationships and in the workplace, discrimination by landlords and future employers. Through thematic analysis, seven key themes were identified: dancer identity, assumptions made, loss of social support, profession weaponized against them, housing discrimination, lack of employment mobility, and identity concealment as stigma management. Applying the minority stress theory to dancers in the strip club industry, it appears the stress experienced by dancers is caused by the discriminatory social structures and stigma built against the population. Therefore, educating lawmakers about the needs and rights of dancers and the impact of stigma might inform legislation and eliminate the power of employers and landlords to discriminate against dancers.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Shelgren, M. (2019). The effects and experiences of stigma in the Minneapolis strip club industry [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/919/
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