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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Transforming communities, recreating selves: interconnected diasporas, performance, and the shaping of Liberian immigrant identity
Author:Covington-Ward, YolandaISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:Africa Today (ISSN 1527-1978)
Volume:60
Issue:1
Pages:29-53
Language:English
Geographic terms:Liberia
United States
Subjects:diasporas
elite
group identity
dance
Link:https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v060/60.1.covington-ward.pdf
Abstract:This article examines the role of European ballroom dances such as the grand march in the shaping of group identity, both in Liberia and for Liberians in the United States. The author uses participant-observation, interviews, and historical documentation to trace transformations in the grand march from the performance of an exclusive, educated Americo-Liberian elite in the nineteenth century to a more inclusive practice, open to Liberians of all backgrounds who immigrated to the United States in the twentieth century. In both cases of these interconnected diasporas, collective performance is used reflexively, to perform group identity for others, and transformatively, to redefine the group itself. This study suggests the need for further attention to performance in studies of ethnic group identity formation. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]

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