Pole Dancers and Stock Brokers

What psychological / philosophical concept might serve as a way to connect these two photos – featuring pole dancers and stockbrokers?


One answer, a surprising one according to authors Karina Paludan Nielsen and Kristina Stockunaite (who recently participated in the MSocSc in Social Science in Service Management programme at Copenhagen Business School) is Flow’ [for background about the concept of ‘Flow’ see note below]

Their 2012 master’s thesis, featuring the two photos, is available here ‘The surprising similarities between pole dancers and financial dealers”

“The similarities between pole dancers and financial dealers were surprising. The case studies revealed that all respondents except one had experienced flow. Thus, they stressed that one had to be intrinsically motivated as all the respondents were encountered by stress, bruises, frustrations; just to mention a few sacrifices. Hence, the respondents kept doing their job or performed their sport – simply because they liked it.”

BONUS: Author Karina Paludan Nielsen is currently a proprietor of House of Pole, Copenhagen, Denmark. [photo courtesy Copenhagen Business School publicity]


Note: Regarding the concept of ‘Flow’ : Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (a.k.a. Csíkszentmihályi Mihály) who is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University first highlighted the concept of ‘Flow’ in his 1990 book ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’ which begins like this :

“THIS BOOK SUMMARIZES, for a general audience, decades of research on the positive aspects of human experience – joy, creativity, the process of total involvement with life I call flow. To take this step is somewhat dangerous, because as soon as one strays from the stylized constraints of academic prose, it is easy to become careless or overly enthusiastic about such a topic.”

BONUS (again) Experience the professor talking about ‘Flow’ here