Our research identifies political explicitness as a variable property among free spaces and its implications for the role that such spaces can potentially play vis-à-vis social movement mobilization. Specifically, spaces where politics are implicit (i.e., where political goals and values are not an explicit part of associative principles) can serve as sites where identities with affinities to social movements are cultivated while remaining open to those who do not already hold sympathetic views – representing free and open spaces. Our research draws on previously unexplored links between social movement research and leisure activity research, which explains processes of socialization across participant levels as a central dynamic in shaping collective values and individual participant identities. We illustrate our argument by exploring those processes within American belly dance as an example of a gendered leisure activity, and their influence on participants’ gender identity and related political attitudes. Findings are based on survey research of 103 dancers in the Salt Lake City, Utah, region. Data indicate wide acceptance of gender norm challenges, and affirm expectations of leisure activity research regarding community dynamics that promote such challenges.
Downey, D., Zerbib, S. and Martin, D. (2010), "Implicit politics in a free and open space: belly dance, leisure activity, and gender identity", Coy, P. (Ed.) Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 103-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X(2011)0000031007Download as .RIS
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