Dance and the Body Politic in Northern Greece
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Dance and the Body Politic in Northern Greece

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Description

Valued for their sensual and social intensity, Greek dance-events are often also problematical for participants, giving rise to struggles over position, prestige, and reputation. Here Jane Cowan explores how the politics of gender is articulated through the body at these culturally central, yet until now ethnographically neglected, celebrations in a class-divided northern Greek town. Portraying the dance-event as both a highly structured and dynamic social arena, she approaches the human body not only as a sign to be deciphered but as a site of experience and an agent of practice. In describing the multiple ideologies of person, gender, and community that townspeople embody and explore as they dance, Cowan presents three different settings: the traditional wedding procession, the "Europeanized" formal evening dance of local civic associations, and the private party. She examines the practices of eating, drinking, talking, gifting, and dancing, and the verbal discourse through which celebrants make sense of each other's actions.
Paying particular attention to points of tension and moments of misunderstanding, she analyzes in what ways these social situations pose different problems for men and women.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 310 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 397g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691028540
  • 9780691028545
  • 1,250,203

Back cover copy

Valued for their sensual and social intensity, Greek dance-events are often also problematical for participants, giving rise to struggles over position, prestige, and reputation. Here Jane Cowan explores how the politics of gender is articulated through the body at these culturally central yet until now ethnographically neglected celebrations in a class-divided northern Greek town. Portraying the dance-event as both a highly-structured and dynamic social arena, she approaches the human body not only as a sign to be deciphered but as a site of experience and an agent of practice.

In describing the multiple ideologies of person, gender, and community that townspeople embody and explore as they dance, Cowan presents three different settings: the traditional wedding procession, the "Europeanized" formal evening dance of local civic associations, and the private party. She examines the practices of eating, drinking, talking, gifting, and dancing, and the verbal discourse through which celebrants make sense of each other's actions. Paying particular attention to points of tension and moments of misunderstanding, she analyzes in what ways these social situations pose different problems for men and women.
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Table of contents

*Frontmatter, pg. i*Contents, pg. vii*List of Illustrations, pg. ix*Preface, pg. xi*Introduction, pg. 1*Chapter One. Place, Distinctions, Identities, pg. 28*Chapter Two. Gender, Household, and Community, pg. 49*Chapter Three. Everyday Sociability as Gendered Practice, pg. 64*Chapter Four. Dancing Signs: Deciphering the Body in Wedding Celebrations, pg. 89*Chapter Five. The Orchestration of Association in Formal Evening Dances, pg. 134*Chapter Six. Male Prestige and the Eruption of Conflict, pg. 171*Chapter Seven. Ambivalent Pleasures: Dance as a Problem for Women, pg. 188*Chapter Eight. Aphrodite's Tables: Breakdown, Blame, and Female Sexuality, pg. 206*Chapter Nine. Because of the Dance, pg. 225*Works Cited, pg. 235*Index, pg. 245*Backmatter, pg. 253
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Rating details

20 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 25% (5)
4 35% (7)
3 30% (6)
2 10% (2)
1 0% (0)
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