This text takes its point of departure from the overwhelming interest in theories of the body and performativity in sociology and cultural studies in recent years. It explores a variety of ways of looking at dance as a social and artistic (bodily) practice as a means of generating insights into the politics of identity and difference as they are situated and traced through representations of the body and bodily practices. These issues are addressed through a series of case studies.
HELEN THOMAS is Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has published numerous articles on dance and presented papers on her work in Europe, North America and Japan. She is editor of Dance, Gender and Culture and Dance in the City, and is author of Dance, Modernity and Culture. She recently completed an AHRB funded study, Dancing into the Third Age: Social Dance as Cultural Text.