Clubbing: Dancing, Ecstasy and Vitality

Clubbing: Dancing, Ecstasy and Vitality

Clubbing: Dancing, Ecstasy and Vitality

Clubbing: Dancing, Ecstasy and Vitality


Offering an informative and intimate insight into the world of clubbing and the experiences of clubbers, this book presents a clear academic framework for study in this field. Issues discussed include social interaction among dubbers; gender and sexuality; the effects of music; the effects of ecstacy and it's place within a "night out"; UK clubbing as a playful act; dancing; and personal interpretations of clubbing experiences.


Did ye not hear it? —No; ‘twas but the wind,

Or the car rattling o’er the stony street;

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;

No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet

To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.

(Byron, 1816)

The approach to developing an understanding of the practices and spaces of clubbing that is presented in this book is grounded within, and in many ways develops, certain existing areas of debate and research on how and why young people spend their free time as they do. Broadly speaking, there are three main points of departure for this book in academic terms—three thematic ‘starting points’ which bubble up throughout the book, yet never quite break the surface explicitly in ‘The night out’, which forms Part Two of the book. In one sense, these concerns are obvious, for, like clubbing itself, they are what the book is ‘about’, they are the book.

The approach which I present in this book is related to a set of debates, literatures, academic disciplines and sub-disciplines that are concerned with the changing geographies of young people’s leisure and lifestyles, as well as the consuming activities through which these lifestyles are constituted—materially, but crucially also experientially and imaginatively. A central theme of ‘The night out’, which forms the main part of the book, is a concern with this constitution of clubbing as simultaneously practical and emotional.

The first two starting points are geographies of young people at play and broader, but related, geographies of consuming. I am especially interested in the relationships between processes and practices of consuming and notions of identity and identification formation and amendment in the clubbing experience. Therefore, a third starting point, which spins off these first two, is

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