At the circus backstage: Women, domesticity, and motherhood, 19752003

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The transformations that took place during the last thirty years in the social position and performance of the circus in Britain are observed through their backstage manifestations, with a particular attention to the position and roles of the circus women. The "traditional circus" that originated in the crisis of modernity was characterized by the performance of the traveler, its family-based organization, and the particular position of the women at the center of the familys daily life and long term working together. General social and cultural shifts towards consumerism, play, intensified mobility, and individuation, turned the circus performance and traveling irrelevant, and with it also its family basis and the centrality of the womens role. The "Contemporary Circus" is working in a new cultural environment. Its performance is different. It works a different organization and gender regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-95
Number of pages31
Issue number189
StatePublished - 17 Apr 2012


  • contemporary circus
  • family
  • moral economy
  • mothers
  • traditional circus
  • traveling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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