• A study of gender issues within hip hop dance in contemporary society

      Pritchard, Ian; D'Andrea, Cristina (University of Chester, 2013-09)
      The principle aim of this dissertation is to examine how members of a British all-female hip hop dance group have become professional hip hop dancers despite the gender issues attached to hip hop dance and its originally underground nature. The theoretical perspective of postmodern feminism will be employed to analyse the key concepts of gender and commercialisation in hip hop dance. Hip hop culture could be understood as a postmodern phenomenon and therefore shares concepts with the theoretical approach of postmodern feminism, which justifies why this research will employ the theory of postmodern feminism in the analysis of women’s participation in professional hip hop dance. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with five female members of a unique, professional all-female hip hop dance group based in London. The common themes that were identified from the interviews included: hip hop dance is both a commercialised and an underground culture; participants expressed both positive and negative feelings towards the commercialisation of hip hop dance; hip hop dance was originally male orientated but this is changing now; and, commercialisation has changed the nature of hip hop dance. In summary, hip hop has been described as an unstable and malleable cultural form that is not one fixed idea but an amalgamation of practices that are constantly in flux (Taylor & Taylor, 2007; Drissel, 2011; Forman, 2004b). This could explain the changing nature of hip hop dance and therefore, is how the female participants have become professional hip hop dancers despite the gender issues described that are attached to hip hop dance.