Article

On high heels: A praxiography of doing Argentine tango

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Abstract

Argentine tango has been investigated by scholars of various disciplinary backgrounds. A broad range of empirical methods has been used in this research. But little attention has been paid to the artefacts which participate in the practice of Argentine tango. Following the programmatic claims of the ‘practical turn’ in the social sciences and in cultural studies, practices are always linked with the materiality of the practising bodies and of the artefacts participating in practices. Thus materiality is indispensable for the analysis of any practice. How materiality can be included into the generating of data and the analysis is little discussed in practice theories. High heels in Argentine tango are the example to demonstrate the necessary application of various qualitative research instruments to investigate the role of artefacts in practice. High heeled female dancing shoes as used in Argentine tango are analysed with respect to their gendered performative and symbolic impact.

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... Whilst a practice theory approach has significant potential, much of the literature on practice theory methodology is nascent and contested (Schatzki, 2002, pp. xvii-xviii;Hirschauer, 2005;Halkier et al., 2011, p.6;Nicolini 2013), remaining preoccupied with abstract ontological and epistemological contemplations and providing only limited insight into the intricacy and the 'nitty gritty' of actually doing practice research (Pink, 2012;Littig 2013). Such concerns raise questions, amongst others, about what differences, if any, to research processes does it make if a practice theory is employed. ...
Conference Paper
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Book
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Chapter
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Article
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Article
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Article
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Chapter
This article summarises the main strands of argumentation in the articles collected in this book. Screening the contributions in line with the objectives of practice oriented research, the perspectives used and the methodologies presented, it concludes that practice theory oriented research needs to be multiple. This multiplicity extends not only to the methodologies, methods and theories used, but potentially to the disciplines involved as well. Thus it opens up tendencies of potential homogenization of practice oriented research in favour of methodological diversity related to its objectives.
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Chapter
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Chapter
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Chapter
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Book
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Book
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Through an ethnographic and participatory investigation, this article argues that tango, more than other social or performative dance, displays exceptional resilience to a loss of authenticity and aura. Three fundamental and distinct types of connection will be examined here: the kinetic and somatic relationship between leader and follower; musicality, or how the couple moves with the music; and the link dancers have with the history and culture of the tango. The first of these facets, the kinetic connection, is most important because it distinguishes the dance as intimate and dynamic, and superbly exemplifies the trademark interpersonal bond of social dancing. In conjunction with the social and improvised nature of the dance, the kinetic connection enables tango to retain an authentic and auratic character, despite the global wayfaring and hybridization the dance continues to experience. Finally, this article describes some mores of American tango, and discusses implications regarding social capital and subcultural resistance through dance.
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This chapter analyses the question of agency considering the animal agency of Cumbrian sheep in the uprising of foot-and-mouth disease in the UK in 2001. The article explores the conditions required for an actor to be able to act as such. In that direction it shifts the usual meaning of the concept of actor separating it from the anthropocentric model and making it distant from the ideas of “intentionality” and “dominance” to emphasise how actors not only act, but they are habilitated and produced as such as a result of complex relations with other actors. That is, to become actors they have to be enacted. To do so, the article analyses some of the multiple forms in which Cumbrian sheep were enacted in the context of the uprising of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001. Finally the article considers what types of agency perform the Cumbrian sheep in each of them.