One step at a time : negotiating gender identities through dance in Singapore
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This study is about dancers in Singapore. It explores how these individuals make sense of and negotiate their gender identities both off and on the dance floor especially whilst doing genres that have been traditionally dominated by the opposite sex. This study adopts Bourdieu’s structural argument on socialization as well as Butler’s post structural analysis on gender to explore the fluidity of identities in dance. Drawing upon in-depth interviews and participant observation sessions, I examine the structural and social conditions in school dance clubs, at home and in commercial dance classes and analyse the coping mechanisms to the restrictions in place. This study serves to illustrate the multiplicities and fluidity of gender identities. It aims to debunk the notion of the dichotomies of masculinity and femininity as contrasting categories when it comes to dance. This study is hence significant in expanding the definitions of what it means to be masculine/feminine, male/female, women/men.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University