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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53122
Doc. No:TL23076
Call number:‭3195725‬
Main Entry:Jessica Morales-Libove
Title & Author:Dancing a fine line: Gender, sexuality and morality at women's tours in Dakar, SenegalJessica Morales-Libove
College:Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:242
Abstract:In this dissertation, I investigate what it meant to be a young woman (aged eighteen to forty) in Dakar of the 20005 through the lens of women's tours (tur), rotating credit institutions (or tontines) that often also functioned as social dance parties. Tours in Dakar in the 2000s were a widespread component of many women's daily lives. Tours not only provided women with a standardized way of saving money, but also allowed them a scheduled moment to "let loose" through dance, a reprieve from responsibility and social decorum. Increasingly public dissatisfaction with the government, continuing economic decline and a growing number of "Islamist" movements in direct opposition with the Sufi brotherhoods that long dominated Senegalese public life presented enormous challenges for residents of Dakar. Competition, among merchants as well as among women looking for soluble marriages, dominated the urban landscape. Since marriage was an almost mandatory goal in Senegal, how did women in a competitive sexual economy such as that which characterized Dakar sustain the interest of their husbands and partners while at the same time managing to conform to popular standards of morality and behavior? After extensive participant observation, my research suggests that the dance at women's tours enabled them to learn different ways to maneuver within this restrictive setting in which women had to perform an intricate balancing act between showcasing appropriately virtuous (yet sexually skillful) behavior, and being labeled prostitutes. Because women's options for economic survival were more and more limited, sexual relationships became increasingly crucial for women's access to both financial and social security. Tour groups organized by and for women represented uniquely female/feminine spaces in which women engaged with, negotiated and contested hegemonic gender relations and dominant beliefs about sexuality in Senegal. The social, political and economic transformations in present-day Dakar, examined in depth throughout this dissertation, engendered a renewed dependence on associative movements such as women's tours. These women-only events provide therefore a window onto the changing standards of morality and behavior that characterized women's experiences of their sexuality and gender relations in urban Senegal.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Dakar; Dancing; Gender; Morality; Senegal; Sexuality; Tours; Cultural anthropology; Womens studies; Dance; 0326:Cultural anthropology; 0453:Womens studies; 0378:Dance
Added Entry:D. Hodgson
Added Entry:Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick