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“House and Techno Broke Them Barriers Down”: Exploring Exclusion through Diversity in Berlin’s Electronic Dance Music Nightclubs
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Berlin is heralded worldwide as being a city that is open, innovative and diverse: a true multicultural metropolis. Music plays a central role in the city’s claim to this title. Go to any one of Berlin’s many notorious alternative nightclubs and you will hear techno, house and electronic dance music blasting out to hoards of enthusiastic partygoers. Many of these clubs and their participants claim that these parties represent diversity, acceptance, equality and tolerance: Spaces within which social divisions are suspended, difference is overcome and people are united. This ubiquitous discursive assertion is referred to in this thesis as a “diversity discourse”. This “diversity discourse” will be deconstructed and situated within a wider political context, with a specific focus on perceptions of race, ethnicity, sexuality and gender. Engaging with theories of intersectionality, post-colonial theory (looking specifically at Jasbir Puar’s important work on homonationalism) and employing qualitative methods such as in-depth interviews and autoethnographic inquiry, it will be argued that the “diversity discourse” works as a mask to conceal a reality of social segregation. Far from being sites of equality and diversity, it will be suggested that access to these nightclubs is premised on the possession of societal privilege. That being said, it will also be argued that research into EDM nightclub participation refrain from viewing these clubs within a binary framework of “good” or “bad”; Rather, they should be seen as complex sites of ambivalence, within which multiple identities are acted out and explored. The project contributes to the current body of work within the (post-) discipline of intersectional gender studies, arguing for the need for theorisations in the field to encompass notions of intersecting privilege and disadvantage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 87 p.
Keyword [en]
Electronic dance music, EDMC, nightlife, diversity, post-colonial theory, homonationalism, intersectionality, race, sexuality, gender, identity, discourse, multiculturalism, Berlin, Germany
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121659ISRN: LIU-TEMA G/GSIC2-A—15/003—SEOAI: diva2:858020
Subject / course
Gender Studies - Intersectionality and Change, Two Year
Available from: 2015-10-01 Created: 2015-09-30 Last updated: 2015-10-01Bibliographically approved

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The Department of Gender StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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