Karin Högström. Foto: Niklas Björling.

Karin Högström


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Works at Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies
Telephone 08-16 49 84
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 E, plan 7
Room E 744
Postal address 106 91 Stockholm 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2010. Karin Högström, Lena Gerholm, Helena Wulff.

    The aim of the dissertation is to describe and analyze the practice and meaning of Middle Eastern dance through the study of a number of performers in Stockholm. In particular, this study emphasises the ways in which the performers seek, create and defend values such as femininity, authenticity, empowerment and respectability in and through their dancing.

    Data for this study consists of field notes from participant observation in dance classes, festivals and gatherings; in-depth interviews and written material, such as leaflets and Internet material. Field notes from a trip to Lebanon with a group of Swedish dancers are also included.

    The performance of Middle Eastern dance in Stockholm may be seen as a way for Swedish women to find new femininities. They strive to combine a glamorous hyper-femininity with strength and respectability. This is a difficult task. The dancers constantly have to maintain a balance. While enjoying the hyper-femininity of oriental dance they must avoid being too sexy and thereby running the risk of being reduced to the position of sexual objects. To avoid losing control of the situation performing in public the dancers use different tactics. Many try to make the performance a clearly bounded event and make distinctions between themselves as individuals and the personas they embody on stage. This gives the performers a chance to playfully embody hyper-femininity. Other dancers have changed the dance itself, removing all movements and costumes that could be perceived as sexually inviting or aiming to please.

Show all publications by Karin Högström at Stockholm University

Last updated: June 1, 2020

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