The Irish Dancing: Cultural Politics and Identities, 1900-2000

The Irish Dancing: Cultural Politics and Identities, 1900-2000

by Barbara O'Connor


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Partly thematic, partly chronological, this account of dance in Ireland emerges out of a broader interest in the body in society as well as in the construction of national and gender identities. It comprises seven chapters each of which addresses a particular form of cultural identity.

These include national, ethnic, gender, social class, postmodern and global identities. It is structured in such a way that many of the chapters are devoted to a specific identity formation while issues of gender and social class are interwoven into most chapters.

Underpinning the discussion throughout is the assumption that dance both reflects and produces the social, cultural and politic contexts within which it is performed and represented. This is so because bodily movement including dance reflects societal structures, norms and values as attested to by sociologists and dance scholars alike.

Interwoven into the dance narrative, therefore, is the flow of Irish society over this time; a flow that incorporates social stability and social change, tradition and modernity, men and women, rural and urban, as well as the local, the national and the global.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782050414
Publisher: Cork University Press
Publication date: 12/31/2013
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Barbara O'Connor previously worked as Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication, Dublin City University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Chapter 1 The Irish Dancing: Cultural Politics and Identities 1

Chapter 2 The Body Politic: Dance and National Identity 18

Chapter 3 The Devil in the Dancehall: Church, State and Dance Regulation 39

Chapter 4 Ballrooms of Romance: Dance, Modernity and Consumption 60

Chapter 5 Return of the Repressed? Set Dance, Postmodernity and Community 80

Chapter 6 Dancing the Diaspora: Ethnicity and Cultural Memory 103

Chapter 7 The Riverdance Effect: Culture Industries and Global Irishness 123

Chapter 8 On With the Dance: Concluding Thoughts 143

Notes 155

Bibliography 161

Index 175

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