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B-drinking is a strategy whereby dancers, waitresses, and otherwise legally employed women illegally solicit drinks from tourists for pay. Unique to the ethnographic literature on strip clubs, Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism focuses on the role of alcohol sales in the sexual economy of Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

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Relying on historical material, Demovic reveals that the intimate encounters B-girls have provided have been a part of the tourism service economy since the beginning of the twentieth century. The B-drinker is an iconic character found in fictional and nonfictional s of the city. B-girls inhabit an ambiguous structural position in the performance of heritage tourism in New Orleans. Participant observation and interviews reveal that by the s women who worked as B-drinkers were ificant stakeholders in French Quarter tourism, able to use their informal networks to seize power over working conditions in the tourism economy of Bourbon Street.

Demovic focuses on how these marginalized but critical workers have responded to stigma by creating tight knit groups which continue to support one another decades after leaving their work on Bourbon Street. This book adds the New Orleans example to a broader understanding of how sex work evolves in ways that reflect regional history and culture.

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Widening the ethnographic lens, Demovic looks past strip tease itself and to the economic activities of such workers when they are off the stage. Lexington Books. Angela R. The book is a standout because it is a good read, not a mean feat in anthropological ethnographic writing today.

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Readers will not only want to know more about the lives of the women being chronicled but also will be challenged in more profound ways. The book deserves particular attention in current anthropology because of its balanced portrait of lives in relative imbalance, like so many people who anthropologists approach in their investigations of sex work, alcohol and drinking, and tourism. Demovic is timely as strip clubs in the heritage site are under attack. People need the kind of illumination that Demovic provides to dispel myths and stop restrictive legislation and law enforcement.

This fluidity of practices defies clear divisions, and Demovic deconstructs the historical creation of one such legal type, the B-girl. Her long-term research reveals the sisterhood that develops within our industries, despite potential for horizontal hostility.

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Table of Contents.

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Bourbon Street, B-Drinking, and the Sexual Economy of Tourism