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Clubbing: Dancing, Ecstasy and Vitality

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This book is about clubbing. More specifically, this book is about the experiences of going clubbing. It is concerned with some of the motivations for and the sociospatio-temporal and bodily-emotional practices which constitute the clubbing experience. The book is also concerned with many of the cultures, spaces and mediations influencing and ‘producing’ the clubbing experience. Finally, this book is concerned with sketching out an understanding of the vitality that may be engendered through the experiences of clubbing.

The book sets out to answer three distinct, but closely related questions:
  • How is clubbing constituted through the practices, imaginations and emotions of the clubbers themselves?
  • How can music and dancing so powerfully affect our experiences of certain spaces, of ourselves and of others?
  • How is clubbing, as a form of ‘play’, significant within the identities and identifications of the clubbers, and in what ways can it engender vitality through its playful practices?
In attempting to answer these questions the book is split into three parts. Part One is comprised of a number of introductory sections which I have called ‘The beginnings’ —each section within this initial part of the book performs an important role in contextualising ‘The night out’ to come. So, after this short introduction to the book, the next section in ‘The beginnings’ provides a contextual background for the project in the form of a brief review of the state, scope and scale of clubbing in late 1990s Britain. I follow this contextual introduction by setting out in some detail the three major academic starting points for ‘The night out’. These starting points are: young people at play, consumption and consuming, and the sociality and performativity which arise out of a concern with processes of identity formation and amendment.
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