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Playing Activists and Dancing Anarchists : Men and Masculinities in Cultural Performances in Contemporary Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Musicology and Performance Studies.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Playing Activists and Dancing Anarchists is a Ph.D. dissertation that aims to analyse men and masculinities in political demonstrations and similar manifestations by conceptualising and analytically approaching such cultural performances as theatrical events. The case studies include the large peace demonstration in Stockholm in February 2003 against the invasion of Iraq; a street theatre performance by the comedians Kesselofski and Fiske, who argue against the European Monetary Union; four Social Democratic May Day celebrations with former prime minister Göran Persson as the main speaker; two anti-racist demonstrations, one of which leads to a violent street battle between activists and a riot police squad.

The dissertation proposes Performance Studies as a relevant means of examining men and masculinities in political live events. The method of study is based on participant observation and the material is complemented with additional sources. The theoretical and analytical approach is inspired by Willmar Sauter’s model of the theatrical event and Raewyn Connell’s theory of hegemonic masculinity.

The different chapters identify and discuss a broad range of men and masculinities, from a cowboy-politician and a financial shark to dead political father figures and masked collectives of martyrs. A closer analysis reveals that many of them are contemporary embodiments or complicit supporters of hegemonic masculinity. Underneath the playful surface of some of the events are strong undercurrents of this ideal. The study also shows the growing resistance offered by feminist activists, performers and musicians. Cultural performances prove to be loci where hegemonic masculinity is not only reproduced, but also contested. The concept of the theatrical event helps to identify and spotlight these attempts and shows how Performance Studies can contribute to analysing men and masculinities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för musik- och teatervetenskap , 2007. , 361 p.
Theatron, ISSN 0348-2448 ; 33
Keyword [en]
Cultural performances, theatrical event, theatricality, gender, men, masculinities, hegemonic masculinity, political demonstrations, prime minister Göran Persson, Sweden
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7058ISBN: 978-91-86434-33-5OAI: diva2:197571
Public defence
2007-10-05, Auditorium, Humanistvillan, Frescativägen 24A, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2007-09-13 Created: 2007-09-04Bibliographically approved

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