Clubbing: otherness and the politics of experience

Rief, Silvia. 2003. Clubbing: otherness and the politics of experience. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis investigates experiences of contemporary club and dance cultures in the context of postmodern aestheticisation. Its object of study is the phantasmatic and discursive complex of otherness, transgression and freedom in which contemporary British club and dance cultures are embedded. It argues that clubbing experiences are fabricated through this complex of otherness, which articulates a politics, of experience. This refers to contexts that structure experiences of dance cultures. In this respect, the thesis considers the contexts of class, gender and sexuality, structures of the production and consumption of clubbing, the institutional regulation and ordering of club spaces and media discourses and imagery. In analysing socially contextualised meanings of this otherness it examines how these become relevant for the construction of identity. The theoretical agenda of the thesis is to explore aestheticisation as a condition for and as a form of identity construction. This engages with changing modes of reflexivity in the construction of reality and reformulates the issues of style, identity and authenticity. The empirical analysis focuses on modes of reflexivity in constructing realities of sexuality, body and self.

Research of this study was carried out in London. The qualitative research design comprised narrative interviewing and ethnographic participation in clubs in central London. A criterion for sampling and for the selection of clubs and interviewees was the dimension of sexuality and the sexual differentiation and codification of club spaces. The interview sample consists of twenty-three interviews with people of mixed genders, sexualities and cultural, national backgrounds.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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postmodern aestheticisation, the phantasmatic and discursive complex of otherness, transgression, identity, reflexivity, class, gender



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Date Deposited:

09 Jul 2020 11:40

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2020 11:41


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