Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy is a book authored by Barbara Ehrenreich. Contents. 1 Description; 2 Well-known examples of Collective Joy. In her latest book, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the history of group festivities and the emotions these. Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich The Face of Battle by John Keegan The.

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Oct 10, Ryan rated it really liked it. There were big cultural changes when puritanical cults appeared on the stage, with their fanatical intolerance. There are other sections that seem like the author is really stretching to make a point. Or interactive video games where players are actively engaging their body and movements within simulated graphics, sometimes with other players.

A lament for the disappearance of communal celebrations, this work is an analysis of the role that ‘festivals’ have played in uniting people, in creating community.

Hardcoverpages. The struggles of daily life were left behind, as peasants and nobles joined together, rolled down their socks, and dissolved into a sweet whirlwind of joyful noise and ecstatic celebration. So far as I can tell, the ways that this phenomenon maybe does survive in the West do not seem to be mentioned here, including raves, some forms of group fitness, and pentecostalism.

They did not worship invisible deities, because that required a vivid imagination. A work of major scholarship it is not, but it’s worth a read. Jul 28, Larry Bassett rated it it was ok Shelves: Dancing in the Streets is dancibg to Blood Rites in its academic approach to the topic.

In a small village, everyone saw the same things, ate the same foods, had the ehrenrrich thoughts. I’d be happy to read a second book focused on that, to be honest – maybe happier than I was with this one.

Savages were no longer allowed to practice their traditional ecstatic rituals, because they were devil worship. Barbara Ehrenreich is one of my hero authors because of her books Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. How clear the world looks in this first total light.

Most biblical scholars believe that Paul was trying to get the early churchgoers to follow tradition and it had nothing to do with dancing, but Ehrenreich never mentions this. And believes that the means of binding together people, both kin and strangers, was participation in festive rituals – rites involving rhythmic music and dance – that is, in the stereotypical primitive rite: Literacy creates a distance between the reader and the material world, and creates a difference from others – an ineluctable alienation.


And that is exactly the topic of Barbara’s page extended meditation also lavishly footnoted, with 19 pages of bibliography. In Dancing in the Streets she looks in the other direction for positive examples. Bewilderment by David Ferry Ferry, best known as the translator of Horace, Virgil, and the Gilgamesh epic, is the master of I cannot celebrate Dancing in the Streets although from the catchy title I expect an enjoyable experience. Evolution would have led to stronger neural connections between the motor centers that control motion, the visual centers that report on the motions of others, and the sites of pleasure in the limbic system of the brain.

To be clear, I liked and enjoyed the book, and it gave me some interesting things to think about. Believers were encouraged to regularly contemplate their shortcomings, and worry about where their souls would reside in the afterlife. She admits at the outset that there is a bias in the sources towards the history of the West, yet makes little attempt to correct that tendency in her own writing.

Its time window was the era of civilization, beginning with brief glimpses of Canaanite orgies, and the lusty Dionysian cults of Greece.

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

She continues, “The capacity for collective joy is encoded into us almost as deeply as the capacity for erotic love of one human for another. This is not Barbara Ehrenreich’s best writing – it lacks the elan of her first-person narrative style – but she really impressed me with her argument that humans need festival.

In the west in the 19th and early 20th centuries, festivities had been replaced by spectacles, whether concerts at which the audience sat mute and motionless, or huge organised events such as the rallies of Hitler and Mussolini at which the spectators, scarcely less well-drilled than the marching soldiers they beheld, were reduced to utter passivity. The main focus was on Europe in the last years. Origin and History of the Passions of Warwhich looked at the human propensity to communally engage in war.


Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy – Barbara Ehrenreich – Google Books

Y cuando no pueden evitarlo, intentan controlarlos o hacen “festejos” suyos. What have we lost in the search for individual freedom? Streetts football and soccer games, crowds quit being passive spectators. In spite of vastly different societal circumstances, the same kind of rationale and tactics are used to stifle festive traditions.

It’s apparently well established that a construct of Jesus seems to have been built ehrenreidh Jesus’s memory, and a lot of the parts in that construct were borrowed from Dionysus.

Dance with the devil

I loved the discussion of the physical component of Spiritual expression. For a few hours, I was able to lose myself in the communal joy and celebration.

Instead, she goes on several tangents which not only add little but can be widely off the mark too. Barbara Ehrenreich is an American journalist and the bestselling author of sixteen previous books, including the bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. At Beatles concerts, the music was often drowned out by the intense screaming and shrieking of thousands of girls.

Modern psychology is focused on self-control, being a dependable human resource in an industrial society. On one occasion, when writing about the rise in depression in Europe, the author spends many pages discussing how the elimination of Carnival could have created this mass depression in the people, only to quickly conclude at the end of the section that urbanization was most likely the cause.

The topic — group dance, ecstatic joy experienced in groups, and trance states — seems under explored and appreciated. Although the opening discusses how Europeans judged indigenous populations for engaging in collective joy rituals, this book has focused on the Greeks, and then Christianity. Meanwhile, in the west, the sense of society as a single body was decaying with the rise of that new entity, the self, and its attendant anxieties about the opinions of others and fears of loss of individual identity.

I’m beginning to think that everyone has an explanation for depression. They put on costumes with their team colors, and painted their faces.