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The cool stuff!: Gender, dance and masculinity

Clegg, Helen; Owton, Helen and Allen-Collinson, Jacquelyn (2016). The cool stuff!: Gender, dance and masculinity. Psychology of Women Section Review, 18(2) pp. 6–16.

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Abstract

Within the dance world, gender (as a binary concept) appears to be central to lived experience. Whilst dance is known as a feminine activity, males tend to be even more in the minority in more ‘feminised’ genres, such as ballet. However, in other genres, such as street dance, which allows them to conform to a more traditionally masculine identity, they are in the majority. Regardless of genre, however, males are more often found in positions of power within the dance-performer’s world compared to their female counterparts. Dance teachers clearly have an important role to play in dance students' perceptions of gendered (in)equalities within the dance world, where the majority of dance teachers are female. To date, however, their perceptions have been under-researched. To address this research gap, 10 female professional dance teachers, ranging in age from 24 to 71 years, were interviewed. Data were analysed using thematic analysis through the theoretical lens of symbolic interactionism. Two salient themes were identified: coolness and masculinity, and male privilege. Participants perceived that gender inequalities did exist within dance genres and in the opportunities afforded to male and female dancers. These inequalities appeared to lead to a greater valorisation of male dancers in terms of physical and psychological characteristics. The perceptions of female dance teachers in general are important in relation to the socialisation of future dance professionals.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 Unknown
ISSN: 1466-3724
Keywords: gender; dance; pedagogy; masculinity
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Childhood Studies
Item ID: 47491
Depositing User: Helen Owton
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 14:52
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2017 17:44
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/47491
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