Malbon particularly focuses on:
the codes of social interaction among clubbers
issues of gender and sexuality
the effects of music
the role of ecstasy
clubbing as a playful act
and personal interpretations of clubbing experiences.
Table of Contents
Preface - The Tunnel Club, Summer 1997. Beginnings. The Night Ahead. Clubbing Contexts. Three Starting Points. Research Clubbing. Night Out. Getting Into It, Feeling Part of It. The Dancer From the Dance: The Musical and Dancing Crowds of Clubbing. Moments of Ecstasy: Oceanic and Ecstatic Experiences in Clubbing. Clubbing and Playful Vitality. Reflections. Three Stories of Afterglow. Playing - Consuming - Fluxing. Nights Out. Appendix 1 - Biographical Snapshots of the Clubbers. References. Index.
From the Author
The book is about the experiences of going clubbing. The book sets out to answer three distinct but closely related questions: 1. How is clubbing constituted through the practices, imaginations and emotions of the clubbers themselves? 2. How can music and dancing so powerfully affect our experiences of certain spaces, of ourselves and of others? 3. How is clubbing, as a form of ‘play', significant within the identities and identifications of the clubbers, and in what ways can it engender vitality through its playful practices? In attempting to answer these questions the book is split into three parts: Part One is comprised of a number of introductory sections which I have called ‘Beginnings' - each section within this initial part of the book performs an important role in contextualising the Night Out to come. After a short introduction to the book, the next section in the‘Beginnings' provides a contextual background for the project in the form of a brief review of the state, scope and scale of clubbing in late-1990s Britain. I follow this contextual introduction by setting out in some detail the three major academic starting points for the Night Out. These starting points are: young people at play, consumption and consuming, and the sociality and performativity which arises out of a concern with processes of identity formation and amendment. After these ‘Beginnings', the main body of the book, Part Two, comprises an increasingly complex schematic and thematic move through some of the multifarious times, spaces and practices of clubbing. This second Part is presented along the broad lines of a ‘Night Out', beginning with club entry and finishing at the end ofthe Night. Each of the four sections of the Night Out form a cumulative spotlighting of what I understand to be the key thematic elements that comprise one approach to understanding the constitutive practices of clubbing. Each section builds upon the last in introducing a further level of understanding. I cover issues around belongings, music and dancing, ecstasy and vitality. I complete this Night Out by introducing the central notion of the book - playful vitality. This is a conceptualisation of the sensation of inner strength and effervescence, which, I argue, can be experienced through the practices of ‘play', and especially through the ‘flow' achievable through dancing. Playful vitality is conceptualised as an alternative approach to understanding the nature of and relationships between notions of power and resistance. The third, shortest and final part of the book is Part Three, the ‘Reflections'. In one respect the Night Out ends abruptly as the clubbers leave the club. Yet there are important post-clubbing processes of reflection and attempts at understanding that many clubbers go through, even if they are alone. In addition to tracing a variety of differing routes for the clubbers through these ‘Reflections', I also reflect upon the Night Out that has just occurred. Re-visiting the three starting points which I set out in the 'Beginnings', I draw out a number of key themes which emerge from returning to these starting points through the lens of the Night Out. Clubbing offers a myriad of insights into our conceptualisations of a whole range of social interactions, notions of communality and play, and of being young. Far from being a mindless form of crass hedonism, as some commentators suggest, clubbing is for many both a source of extraordinary pleasure and a vital context for the development of personal and social identities. Yet, I argue, our understandings of clubbing, of its practices, and of its remarkable resonance within the lives of so many young people, are only just beginning. Ben Malbon