This presentation will provide a retrospective account of our shared experiences of an autoethnographic study of lap dancing clubs, focusing on critical or ‘sticky moments’ (Riach, 2009) encountered in the research governance process, and considers the implications of these for research in the field.
This presentation provides a retrospective account of our shared experiences of an autoethnographic study of lap dancing clubs, focusing on critical or ‘sticky moments’ (Riach, 2009) encountered in the research governance process, and considers the implications of these for research in the field. It does so by highlighting the gendered power relations shaping academic research, showing how Judith Butler’s (1990/2000) critique of the heterosexual matrix can be applied to a critical, reflexive understanding of the impact of binary, hierarchical gender power relations. Our experiences provide insight into some of the ways in which autoethnographic research on sexualised work may become messy, dirty and sticky in ways that accentuate power inequalities, but which also open up moments of opportunity for gender binaries and hierarchies to be revealed, challenged and resisted. Using a Butlerian lens to reflect on our experiences, we contribute to understanding how heteronormative assumptions shape perceptions of what makes ‘good’, ‘clean’ and ethically (formally) approved of research that conforms to the governmental norms of the heterosexual matrix, and by implication, those contaminating forms of research that disrupt or resist its disciplinary effects. As ethnographic research is often messy by its very nature, and particularly so when situated within sex/sexualised work, we aim to show how gendered assumptions can inhibit reflexivity in academic knowledge production, resulting in research processes that are (paradoxically) unethical.
This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.
We welcome you to join us online on Wednesday 1 June 2022 at 12pm
Paul Galbally is a Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of East London. He recently completed his Doctorate in Applied Psychology at the University of Essex. His research interests include the sociology of family, separation and conflictual relationships.