CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Focusing on research conducted in West Africa in the contemporary dance world, this paper highlights the role of Western women in the making of African dancers’ careers. In the context of internationalization of African artists’ careers, marked by the imposition of Western aesthetics and formal standards, the relationships that these dancers –mostly men of humble origins and with little education– manage to establish with Western women –from the middle and upper classes, highly educated– can operate as a pathway of cultural accumulation. Beyond the economic asymmetry to which North South relations are often reduced, this paper emphasizes the role of cultural transactions that operate through intimacy, that is to say, the use of women’s cultural capital for the development of men’s careers. These transactions, which occur on a continuum of intimate social relations –from friendship to marital relationships, or relationships created through the fieldwork– operate on a logic of North South domination –unequal distribution of cultural capital in the international arena– and gender domination –women are willing to serve men’s careers.


  • cultural transactions
  • intimacy
  • North South relations
  • gender and sexuality
  • Africa
  • dance
Altaïr Despres
Latest publication on cairn or another partner portal
Distribution électronique pour P.U.F. © P.U.F.. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. Il est interdit, sauf accord préalable et écrit de l’éditeur, de reproduire (notamment par photocopie) partiellement ou totalement le présent article, de le stocker dans une banque de données ou de le communiquer au public sous quelque forme et de quelque manière que ce soit.
Loading... Please wait