Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America by Esther NewtonMother Camp: Female Impersonators in America by Esther Newton

Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America

byEsther Newton

Paperback | May 15, 1979

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For two years Ester Newton did field research in the world of drag queens—homosexual men who make a living impersonating women. Newton spent time in the noisy bars, the chaotic dressing rooms, and the cheap apartments and hotels that make up the lives of drag queens, interviewing informants whose trust she had earned and compiling a lively, first-hand ethnographic account of the culture of female impersonators. Mother Camp explores the distinctions that drag queens make among themselves as performers, the various kinds of night clubs and acts they depend on for a living, and the social organization of their work. A major part of the book deals with the symbolic geography of male and female styles, as enacted in the homosexual concept of "drag" (sex role transformation) and "camp," an important humor system cultivated by the drag queens themselves.

"Newton's fascinating book shows how study of the extraordinary can brilliantly illuminate the ordinary—that social-sexual division of personality, appearance, and activity we usually take for granted."—Jonathan Katz, author of Gay American History

"A trenchant statement of the social force and arbitrary nature of gender roles."—Martin S. Weinberg, Contemporary Sociology
Title:Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in AmericaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:158 pages, 8.75 × 6.35 × 1 inPublished:May 15, 1979Publisher:University Of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226577600

ISBN - 13:9780226577609

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Phoenix Edition
Note to the Reader
1. On the Job
2. The "Queens"
3. Types of Acts
4. Two Shows
5. Role Models
6. "The Fast Fuck and the Quick Buck"
Field Methods