chapter  1
17 Pages

Introducing the ethnography: working and researching in a ‘deviant’ occupation

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book is about the relationships between lap-dancers and the occupational culture with which these women engaged at a lap-dancing club named 'Starlets', based in a large city in the North of England. The original impetus for this ethnography initially stemmed from the aforementioned negative portrayal of the lap-dancing industry. The focus of this ethnography, Starlets, was a club in which the author had already worked for approximately two years prior to conducting this project. It was therefore the author's knowledge of and relationship with the dancers who worked there which provided both motive and opportunity. Ethnographic research provokes debates about ethical conduct, particularly with regard to the use of participant observation. Ethical concerns around informed consent, in particular, bring the validity of this particular methodology into question.