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Connecting the gendered door: women, violence and doorwork

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This paper explores the emerging role of women who work as 'bouncers', or doorstaff, in the night-time economy and examines how the cultural capital of the female bouncer is connected to the methods utilized to control licensed premises. It is drawn from a study that combined ethnographic observations and interviews in five major UK cities which explored a diverse range of issues such as gendered bodies, femininities and violence; the changing needs of the night-time economy in the UK and the experiences of women engaged in 'non-traditional' occupations. In this paper, we draw on interview data with one particular category of female door staff; women who share similar histories of exposure to violence and violent cultures, and we examine how their experiential knowledge of violence equips them with the resources to 'work the doors'. Our attention focuses on this group of women, who we refer to as 'The Connected', and examine how they are 'doing gender' when they negotiate violence 'on the door'.

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