Work-life management in legal prostitution: Stigma and lockdown in Nevada's brothels Academic Article uri icon


  • Across occupations, people contend with the difficult task of managing time between their work and other aspects of life. Previous research on stigmatized industries has suggested that so-called dirty workers experience extreme identity segmentation between these two realms because they tend to cope with their occupational stigma by placing distance between their work and personal lives. Through a qualitative study of Nevadas legal brothel industry, this article focuses on the prevalence of boundary segmentation as a dominant worklife management practice for dirty workers. Our analysis suggests that worklife boundaries are disciplined by legal mythologies and ambiguities surrounding worker restrictions, occupational ideologies of work now, life later, and perceived and experienced effects of community-based stigma. These legal, occupational and community constructs ultimately privilege organizations and external communities interests, while individual dirty workers carry the weight of stigma.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 28

author list (cited authors)

  • Blithe, S. J., & Wolfe, A. W.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Blithe, Sarah Jane||Wolfe, Anna Wiederhold

publication date

  • June 2017