Gendered Bodies and Leisure: The practice and performance of American belly dance, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Gendered Bodies and Leisure

The practice and performance of American belly dance, 1st Edition

By Rachel Kraus


202 pages | 19 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781472419736
pub: 2016-07-25
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315569024
pub: 2016-07-15
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


With its roots in Middle Eastern and North African dance, belly dance is a popular leisure activity in the West with women (and some men) of all ages and body types pursing the activity for diverse reasons. Drawing on empirical research, fieldwork, and interviews with participants, this book investigates the social world and small group cultures of American belly dance, examining the various ways in which people use leisure to construct the self and social relationships.

With attention to gender expectations, body image, sexuality, community, spiritual experiences, and the process of identifying with a leisure activity, this book shows how people engage in the same pursuit in a variety of ways. It sheds light on the manner in which dancers strive to deal with the challenges presented by internal power struggles and legitimacy bids, public beliefs, narrow cultural ideals of beauty and often sexualized assumptions about their art.

A fascinating study of identity work and the reproduction and challenging of gender norms through a gendered leisure activity, Gendered Bodies and Leisure: The Practice and Performance of American Belly Dance will be of interest to students and scholars researching gender and sexuality, the sociology of leisure, the sociology of the body and interactionist thought.

Table of Contents

1. The Social World of Belly Dance 2. Performing Gender 3. The Belly Dancing Body 4. Friendship and Community 5. A Spiritual Dance 6. A Belly Dance Identity 7. "There’s Enough Drama in Belly Dance" 8. Negotiating Erotic Images of Belly Dance 9. The Finale Appendix

About the Author

Rachel Kraus is Professor of Sociology at Ball State University, USA.

About the Series

Interactionist Currents

Interactionist Currents
Interactionist Currents publishes contemporary interactionist works of exceptional quality to advance the state of symbolic interactionism. Rather than revisiting classical symbolic interactionist or pragmatist theory, however, this series extends the boundaries of interactionism by examining new empirical topics in subject areas that interactionists have not sufficiently examined; systematizing, organizing, and reflecting on the state of interactionist knowledge in subfields both central and novel within interactionist research; connecting interactionism with contemporary intellectual movements; and illustrating the contemporary relevance of interactionism in ways that are interesting, original, and enjoyable to read. Recognizing an honored and widely appreciated theoretical tradition, reflecting on its limitations, and opening new opportunities for the articulation of related perspectives and research agendas, this series presents work from across the social sciences that makes explicit use of interactionist ideas and concepts, interactionist research, and interactionist theory - both classical and contemporary.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General