Anglia Ruskin University
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Dance Diversity on YouTube: How Participatory Culture Encourages Inclusive Masculinities

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posted on 2023-08-30, 16:44 authored by Craig Owen, Sarah Riley
Anglo-American cultures traditionally constructed dance as a feminine activity, thus devaluing it, and making men who danced vulnerable to homophobia. But the emergence of new practices of masculinity offers the possibilities for dance to be repositioned. In this chapter, we examine such possibilities through an analysis of ten of the most popular YouTube videos of men dancing to the Beyoncé Knowles dance video ‘Single Ladies’. We use these videos as an example of a range of representations of men dancing, afforded by technological developments and participatory culture. Employing a multimodal analysis, with a theoretical lens informed by inclusive masculinity theory, performativity theory, and the technologies of sexiness framework, our analysis explores the enactment of orthodox and inclusive masculinities, their intersections, complexities in interpretations, and instances of subversion and recuperation. Our findings point to an increasing visibility and celebration of male dancers who enjoy performing in an effeminate or camp manner; the proliferation of playful masculinities as enacted through differing blends of pastiche, parody and drag; and the subsequent challenge of making sense of these complex representations of gender, in terms of their ability to support the performance of more inclusive and expressive masculinities, and/or to be recuperated back into orthodox discourses of masculinity. Ultimately, the chapter points to the importance of research into new and potentially innovative performances of masculinities within a complex, digitally mediated cultural context.



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Palgrave Macmillan

Place of publication

Cham, Switzerland

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The Palgrave Handbook of Masculinity and Sport




Rory Magrath, Jamie Cleland, Eric Anderson

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  • Accepted version


  • eng

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Faculty of Science & Engineering

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