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Mats Nilsson

Published On


Page Range

pp. 375-394

Print Length

19 pages

13. Dance and ‘Folk Devils’

  • Mats Nilsson (author)
This chapter discusses how new dances, especially when danced by young people, tend to be seen as a negative and even evil influence by elder members of society. Using the concepts of the British sociologist Stanley Cohen, ‘moral panic’ and ‘folk devils’, it explores the reception of the Waltz and other couple dances in different historical contexts, while referring to a number of international research publications in the process. In its conclusion, it questions how adaptable these concepts are in contemporary studies and takes a look at some of the newest attitudes towards certain dance types and dance courses.


Mats Nilsson