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Temple University

1. Merritt, Carolyn P. Locating the Tango: Place and the Nuevo Social Dance Community.

Degree: PhD, 2008, Temple University

Anthropology

In this dissertation, I examine the impact of globalizing processes upon the contemporary Argentine tango scene in Buenos Aires. Focusing on a contested trend referred to as tango nuevo, I engage debates surrounding: authenticity and cultural ownership; the performance of gender and sexuality; generational conflict in human movement practice; the enduring significance of place in an era of heightened globalization; the role of place and global economics in shaping transnational cultural formations; community as a site of anxiety, hierarchy and conflict; the tension between preservation and evolution in the survival of cultural phenomena; and conflicting narratives of dance as drug, therapy and pain. The result of a five-year pursuit of Argentine tango, both as an anthropologist and a dancer, this dissertation is informed by two years of fieldwork in Buenos Aires, three years of preliminary research in Philadelphia, a preliminary fieldsite investigation in Buenos Aires, and participant observation in a handful of U.S. tango communities preceding fieldwork. This dissertation will add to the literature on Argentine tango by challenging popular and scholarly notions of what may be encompassed under this term. With community as the key concept underlying my study, I hope to expand upon the application of semiotic analysis in dance studies through an emphasis on practice and phenomenology, framing community through the performance of shared bodily vocabularies that are open to renewal and transformation. Building upon recent anthropological investigations of globalization and modernity, I suggest that human movement practices present a rich area for further research into the enduring significance of place. In approaching a fluid, global community via local-level fieldwork that is oriented towards the passage of media, ideas and dancers across borders, my project suggests a solution to the quandaries of doing ethnography and microanalysis in complex, transnational macro-contexts. With the growth of new sites, new codes, and a new community of practitioners, I argue that the study of tango in anthropological perspective offers a unique view into the ways in which individuals carve out notions of personhood, identity and culture in a globalized world.

Temple University – Theses

Advisors/Committee Members: Garrett, Paul B., Romberg, Raquel, Meglin, Joellen A., Chakravorty, Pallabi.

Subjects/Keywords: Anthropology, Cultural; tango; dance; globalization; place; gender; community

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Merritt, C. P. (2008). Locating the Tango: Place and the Nuevo Social Dance Community. (Doctoral Dissertation). Temple University. Retrieved from http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,13758

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Merritt, Carolyn P. “Locating the Tango: Place and the Nuevo Social Dance Community.” 2008. Doctoral Dissertation, Temple University. Accessed November 19, 2019. http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,13758.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Merritt, Carolyn P. “Locating the Tango: Place and the Nuevo Social Dance Community.” 2008. Web. 19 Nov 2019.

Vancouver:

Merritt CP. Locating the Tango: Place and the Nuevo Social Dance Community. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Temple University; 2008. [cited 2019 Nov 19]. Available from: http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,13758.

Council of Science Editors:

Merritt CP. Locating the Tango: Place and the Nuevo Social Dance Community. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Temple University; 2008. Available from: http://digital.library.temple.edu/u?/p245801coll10,13758

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