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Sarah Jane Blithe, Anna Wiederhold Wolfe, and Breanna Mohr

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479859290

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479859290.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Selling Intimacy

Selling Intimacy

Emotional Experiences of Sex Work

(p.147) 7 Selling Intimacy
Sex and Stigma

Sarah Jane Blithe

Anna Wiederhold Wolfe

Breanna Mohr

NYU Press

In this chapter, the authors examine how practices of secrecy inform emotion management and support-seeking behaviors. The findings suggest that concealment practices serve protective functions, contributing to the construction of distinct occupational and social identity roles, avoidance of dirty work stigma, and protection of clients’ definition of the situation. However, the authors also find that dirty workers tend to occupy a tensional space between revelation and concealment, especially when managing difficult emotions related to hidden identity roles. The analysis suggests that resources available for managing emotions are inextricably linked to interactional role performances, and dirty workers may violate secrecy norms to attain levels of intimacy and social support contingent upon shared knowledge of salient social roles.

Keywords:   Emotion, Secrecy, Stigma, qualitative methods, social support, Dirty Work

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