Dance Parties and the Symbolic Construction of Communities in the Era of Late Socialism in Czechoslovakia
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Dance parties constitute a field that concisely reflected the processes of modernization and urbanization of the Czech countryside in the 1970s and 1980s. Dance parties can also be perceived as places that have maintained their stable position in the hierarchy of values and ideas accepted by local inhabitants, which are, among other things, associated with the viability of their own community. This was possible due to the symbolic function of dance parties – phenomena with symbolic significance are endowed with high adaptability to changes. The stable significance of dance parties for a community can be exemplified by discussions conducted in the fields of space, generations, and power. These discussions understand dance parties as a subject based on which ideas about the ability of a community to function are communicated. The symbolic function of dance parties is the reason their existence is not called into question. This paper is based on doctoral field research, which was carried out in two different locations – in a small rural town facing more intensive processes of modernization and in two rural municipalities (everything though is set in a wider regional context).
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