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Meaning in Motion: Curtsies, Cotillions and Counter-Ritual in the Belle Époque

Schauer, Erica
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Schauer, Erica
Advisor
Horne, Janet
Levine, Allison
Kreuger, Cheryl
Abstract
Human bodies are culturally conditioned to move in ways that show others who they are. This dissertation is a study of the critical and lifelong training of women’s bodies conducted not in the classroom, but in familial and social settings. I argue that, despite parents’ intentions, this physical instruction was never simply a matter of reproducing past gender roles and class structures. Rather, the internalization of certain gestures and postures, along with body movements at more formalized rituals, often allowed young Frenchwomen of the Belle Époque to generate an innovative space for the production of new meaning in the conduct of their lives. As I am to demonstrate in this thesis, physicality—that is, the socially inscribed postures, gestures, and movements of human interaction—is a useful category of cultural analysis.
Language
English
Published
University of Virginia, Department of French, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2014
Published Date
2014-05-15
Degree
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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