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Dancing salsa in post-thinking Europe: Gender and sexuality discourses among salsa dancers in Switzerland and England

Boulila, Stefanie Claudine (2016) Dancing salsa in post-thinking Europe: Gender and sexuality discourses among salsa dancers in Switzerland and England. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

In a discursive context where Europe is associated with modernity and ‘progress’, salsa dancing is often claimed to offer ‘difference’ in terms of the gender roles it propagates. The multi-million salsa industry sells the dance practice as ‘sexy’, ‘hot’ and as the epitome of heterosexuality. This thesis explores gender and sexuality discourses among salsa dancers in Switzerland and England. Drawing on unstructured in-depth interviews with heterosexual and lesbian/gay salsa dancers, it traces culturalist understandings of salsa genders that defer heteronormativity and ‘strict’ gender roles to ‘Latin American culture’. Based on queer-feminist, postcolonial and race critical theory, this thesis offers an analysis of how gendered and sexualised formations come into being on the salsa scene. It will do so by deconstructing Latin American gender stereotypes, narratives of passion and heterosexual romance as well as heteronormalising processes that inform the salsa dance studio. Overall, it will argue that claims to gender and sexuality on the salsa scene are racialised in the way that they reflect broader discourses of race in contemporary Europe. This thesis presents the first analysis of salsa dance practices in Europe that is led by postcolonial and queer-feminist theory. Beyond an analysis of salsa from this perspective, it aims to contribute to the study of postcolonial racisms in Switzerland and England. Additionally, it makes a case for the study of Latinidad in Europe and the gendered and sexualised stereotypes associated with it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Latin dance, intersectionality, social dance, post-racial, queer theory
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > Performance and Cultural Industries (Leeds)
Depositing User: Stefanie Claudine Boulila
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 12:04
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2017 12:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12479

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