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Culture on Ice (Paperback)

P&S History > Social Science & Culture > Gender Studies

Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Pages: 376
Illustrations: 11 illus.
ISBN: 9780819566423
Published: 21st May 2003
Casemate UK Academic

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Figure skating is one of the most popular spectator sports in the U.S., yet it eludes definitive categorization. In this engaging new book, Ellyn Kestnbaum examines figure skating from multiple perspectives: as sport, as performance, and even as spectacle, guiding the reader through both the technical aspects of skating and the sometimes convoluted rules of figure skating competition. By careful readings of skating events at the 1994 and 1998 Olympic Games, she argues that figure skating is a language, one whose meaning is inflected by the culture at large. In particular, she looks at the ways in which race, social class and gender all disrupt, subvert or reinforce the practices of figure skating, and examines the influence of the media in shaping perceptions of the sport. As a skater, skating fan and scholar, Kestnbaum brings a unique point of view to this study, providing not only a history of the skating world but also a feeling for what it is like to be on the ice.

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