The Real Stripper Report: Participatory ACTION research by and for sex workers
August 17 @ 4:30 pm
Workers in the strip club industry are a stigmatized and marginalized group who, historically, have been studied by academia through a lens of deviancy. This lens has informed public policy that is not worker-centered resulting in harmful regulations, as was the case with legislative proposals initiated by the Minneapolis City Council in 2017. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to thoroughly understand the occupational needs of workers who are currently facing ill-informed regulation of their labor. The study utilized participatory action research from a labor rights perspective comprising of researchers from Minnesota State University, Mankato along with members from the Sex Workers Outreach Project of Minneapolis who are current or former workers in Minneapolis’s strip clubs, and consisted of surveying and interviewing workers in the strip club industry about their occupational needs. Contrary to the city’s assumptions about the working conditions in strip clubs, the data showed workers’ concerns over contractual fees/fines and management favoritism.This session will explore the scholarly activism of SWOP-Minneapolis, their interactions with city officials, and their push for greater labor rights for those working in strip clubs. Additionally, the session will detail the process of conducting a worker-centered needs assessment to serve as a template for future needs assessments within the local and national sex industry.