Publication Details

Atencio, M. & Wright, J. (2009). Ballet it's too whitey: discursive hierarchies of high school dance spaces and the constitution of embodied feminine subjectivities. Gender and Education, 21 (1), 31-46.


This article investigates (i) how the structuring practices and meanings associated with dance classes at an inner‐city American high school operated as institutional spaces (re)producing ‘dividing practices’ that supported racial and classed hierarchies; (ii) how these racist structures were created and maintained relative to dominant notions of embodiment, ‘race’, social class, femininity, and dance; and (iii) the way these dominant practices and hierarchies were managed by two ‘black’ young women at the high school in order to construct particular modes of self‐governance. The analysis suggests that educators be attuned to the role that spaces play in creating particular types of ‘docile’ bodies and the strategies enacted by young people to create alternative embodied practices and subjectivities.

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