Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences

The Sexual Politics of Ballroom Dancing

Authors: Harman, Vicki

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  • Offers fresh insights into the current popularity of ballroom dancing and what this reveals about contemporary gender roles
  • Combines serious leisure and feminist leisure studies with nuanced analysis of ethnographic material
  • Demonstrates how personal practices are marked by a culturally informed attempt to recreate aspects of an imagined past
  • Examines gender, social change and tradition in ballroom and Latin American dancing as an example of contemporary leisure practices
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eBook 51,16 €
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-02939-3
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 62,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-02938-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This book presents an engaging sociological investigation into how gender is negotiated and performed in ballroom and Latin dancing that draws on extensive ethnographic research, as well as the author’s own experience as a dancer. It explores the key factors underpinning the popularity of this leisure activity and highlights what this reveals more broadly about the nature of gender roles at the current time. The author begins with an overview of its rich social history and shifting class status, establishing the context within which contemporary masculinities and femininities in this community are explored. Real and imagined gendered traditions are examined across a range of dancer experiences that follows the trajectory of a typical learner: from finding a partner, attending lessons and forming networks, through to taking part in competitions. The analysis of these narratives creates a nuanced picture of a dance culture that is empowering, yet also highly consumerist and image-conscious; a highly ritualised set of practices that both reinstate and transgress gender roles. This innovative contribution to the feminist leisure literature will appeal to students and scholars of anthropology, dance, sport, gender, cultural and media studies. 


About the authors

Vicki Harman is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University of Surrey, UK. She received the ISA Young Leisure Scholar Award for research that forms part of this book (2016). She has published in journals including Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Sociology of Health and Illness, European Journal of Marketing, Identities: Global Studies in Power and Culture and Young Consumers

Reviews

“In the post-Strictly world, this book makes a most valuable contribution to the leisure studies literature and to feminist work more widely. It provides a well-researched, fascinating qualitative study of dance and in particular of the attraction of ballroom dancing, why people do it and of ballroom dancing as a cultural phenomenon. Vicki Harman really gets inside the field and demonstrates how social and gender relations play out on the dance floor.” (Kath Woodward, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, The Open University, UK)

“This is a unique insight into the sociological problem of ballroom dancing, as gender, culture and leisure. Vicki Harman provides an excellent combination of rich ethnographic data and critical analysis to situate the practice in the lives of its participants.” (Karl Spracklen, Professor of Music, Leisure and Culture, Leeds Becket University, UK)

“In this engaging, ethnographic account Vicki Harman gives us an insight into the many ways in which gender matters -- and is contested -- in the world of amateur Ballroom and Latin American dancing. In doing so she makes an important contribution to the sociology of culture, feminist leisure studies, and gender studies.” (Sarah Moore, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Bath, UK)

“Vicki Harman has produced a wonderful ethnography of gender and ballroom dancing as serious leisure. She shows how to do a broad study of gender by getting the ‘big picture’ of its fit with the activity itself.” (Robert A. Stebbins, FRSC, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Canada)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 51,16 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-02939-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 62,39 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-02938-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Sexual Politics of Ballroom Dancing
Authors
Series Title
Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-02939-3
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-02939-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-02938-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 170
Topics