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Sorry I Don't Dance: Why Men Refuse to Move

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Sorry I Don't Dance: Why Men Refuse to Move Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

That men don't dance is a common stereotype. As one man tried to explain, "Music is something that goes on inside my head, and is sort of divorced from, to a large extent, the rest of my body." How did this man's head become divorced from his body? While it may seem natural and obvious that most white men don't dance, it is actually a recent phenomenon tied to the changing norms of gender, race, class, and sexuality. Combining archival sources, interviews, and participant observation, Sorry I Don't Dance analyzes how, within the United States, recreational dance became associated with women rather than men, youths rather than adults, and ethnic minorities rather than whites.

At the beginning of the twentieth century and World War II, lots of ordinary men danced. In fact, during the first two decades of the twentieth century dance was so enormously popular that journalists reported that young people had gone "dance mad" and reformers campaigned against its moral dangers. During World War II dance was an activity associated with wholesome masculinity, and the USO organized dances and supplied dance partners to servicemen. Later, men in the Swing Era danced, but many of their sons and grandsons do not. Turning her attention to these contemporary wallflowers, Maxine Craig talks to men about how they learn to dance or avoid learning to dance within a culture that celebrates masculinity as white and physically constrained and associates both femininity and ethnically-marked men with sensuality and physical expressivity. In this way, race and gender get into bodies and become the visible, common sense proof of racial and gender difference.

Synopsis:

If you want to learn about masculinity, ask a man if he likes to dance. One man in this study answered, "Music is something that goes on inside my head, and is sort of divorced from, to a large extent, the rest of my body." How did this man's head become divorced from his body? To answer this question, Maxine Craig sought out men who love music but hate to dance. Combining interviews, participant observation and archival research, Sorry I Don't Dance uncovers the recent origins of cultural assumptions regarding sex, race, and the capacity to dance. From the beginning of the twentieth century through the Swing Era young men of all races danced. But in the 1960s suburbanization, homophobia, and fragmentation of music cultures drove white men from the dance floor, and feminized, sexualized and racialized dance. Sorry I Don't Dance reveals how changing beliefs concerning gender, race, class, and sexuality over the past half-century have redefined what it means to be a man in America.

About the Author

Maxine Leeds Craig is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies at the Univeristy of California, Davis. She is the author of Ain't I a Beauty Queen?: Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Searching for Dancing Men

Chapter 2: The New Woman and the Old Man

Chapter 3: Becoming White Folk

Chapter 4: Dancing in Uniform

Chapter 5: Managing the Gaze

Chapter 6: Stepping On and Across Boundaries

Chapter 7: Sex or "Just Dancing"

Chapter 8: Conclusions

Appendices

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199845293
Author:
Craig, Maxine Leeds
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Sociology | Popular Culture
Subject:
Gender Studies-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20131131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
9 b/w halftones
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
6.1 x 9.1 x 0.9 in 0.8 lb

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Social Classes

Sorry I Don't Dance: Why Men Refuse to Move New Trade Paper
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Product details 240 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199845293 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , If you want to learn about masculinity, ask a man if he likes to dance. One man in this study answered, "Music is something that goes on inside my head, and is sort of divorced from, to a large extent, the rest of my body." How did this man's head become divorced from his body? To answer this question, Maxine Craig sought out men who love music but hate to dance. Combining interviews, participant observation and archival research, Sorry I Don't Dance uncovers the recent origins of cultural assumptions regarding sex, race, and the capacity to dance. From the beginning of the twentieth century through the Swing Era young men of all races danced. But in the 1960s suburbanization, homophobia, and fragmentation of music cultures drove white men from the dance floor, and feminized, sexualized and racialized dance. Sorry I Don't Dance reveals how changing beliefs concerning gender, race, class, and sexuality over the past half-century have redefined what it means to be a man in America.
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