“Women are Stronger Than Men”: Breaking Norms Through Hip Hop in Vietnam
This paper examines women’s motivations for engaging in men-dominated hip hop dance in urban Vietnam, arguing that it is the kinesthesia that draws the young women into hip hop. Dancing is a resource of joy and confidence for the women dancers studied. Yet, the playfulness and creativity of dance should not obscure the hard bodily work the women dancers invest in order to attain their unique style. In addition, joining a dance class or crew practice late at night often requires confronting parental concerns about their daughters’ safety and ideas about what constitutes a good career.
Examining the socio-political implications of young women’s decisions to become and be hip hop artists, the paper argues that their (gendered) performance is evaluated differently across different value regimes, depending on the emplacement of their bodily practice. Family and kin might assess their lifestyle choice as breaking with prevailing gender norms, whereas their community of peers might appreciate the performance of gender bending as a sign of virtuosity and a marker of unique style.
Copyright (c) 2022 Sandra Kurfürst
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Music and Arts in Action makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information contained in its publications, but all editors and reviewers make no warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability for any purpose of the content. The authors are responsible for the accuracy of the content presented in their work. Any views expressed in this publication are the views of the authors and are not the views of MAiA editors or affiliates.
Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. Requests to reprint material published in MAiA should be made to the individual authors.
By virtue of their appearance in this Open Access Journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. All citations should include the author's name; year of publication; MAiA title, volume and issue number; page numbers; and weblink to http://musicandartsinaction.net
Contents published from Volume 5 (2) (2016) onwards are licensed under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/