On Love, Motherhood, and Sex Work in a Rust Belt Town
This path-breaking book examines the lives of five topless dancers in the economically devastated "rust belt" of upstate New York. With insight and empathy, Susan Dewey shows how these women negotiate their lives as parents, employees, and family members while working in a profession widely regarded as incompatible with motherhood and fidelity. Neither disparaging nor romanticizing her subjects, Dewey investigates the complicated dynamic of performance, resilience, economic need, and emotional vulnerability that comprises the life of a stripper. An accessibly written text that uses academic theories and methods to make sense of feminized labor, Neon Wasteland shows that sex work is part of the learned process by which some women come to believe that their self-esteem, material worth, and possibilities for life improvement are invested in their bodies.