Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy is a book authored by Barbara Ehrenreich. Contents. 1 Description; 2 Well-known examples of Collective Joy. In her latest book, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the history of group festivities and the emotions these. Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich The Face of Battle by John Keegan The.

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Ehrenreich says that Turners “distaste” for the hippie counterculture may have shaped his anthropological theories- essentially saying that his personal streegs affected his professional opinion. In the end this sttreets argues that all the mental illnesses and depression that people suffer in society today is caused by lacking of organic spontaneous collective joy.

Even suggests, more controversially, a resemblance between Christianity and Greek mystery religions, suggests that Jesus may have viewed himself as Dionysus.

The new gods spoke only through their priests or prophets, and then in terrifying tones of warning and command. Look into the details of the origins of the religion.

I just streetts not ready for so much more academia in Dancing in the Streets so I am giving it two stars: As I’ve gotten older, I have become ever more aware of how our society and groups impact our behavior and happiness. But the real weakness of the work is her explanation for the decline of festivities, for the loss of both the rite and the sense of community.


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Sep 21, Marykellington rated it liked it. Together we moved, feeling the beat and vigor of the music. Because of this, I cannot recommend this book. Feb 28, Gavin Morgan rated it it was amazing. Ehrenreich also finds a remarkable parallel between the suppression that took place with the Protestant Reformation in Europe and the Wahhab movement in Islam.

Joyful and sacred intent. It occurs to me that there may a sort of religious equivalent to Kuhn’s scientific paradigm that would lead people to imbue new stories with familiar constructs.

The book begins, chapter one, with “The Archaic Roots of Ecstasy” as documented in prehistoric art, and moves along to the cult of Dionysus “Who was this god who could intoxicate the mighty as well as the poor, who dared to challenge the power of men over women?

Pleasure was of the devil. Barbara Ehrenreich winds up her book with looking to ” The Possibility of Revival. How purely form it strees, without, for the moment, the shadow of meaning.

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

But I do recall the movie made about David Foster Wallace the one with Jason Seagul and how he found a sort of joy in collective dancing. At Beatles concerts, the music was often drowned out by the intense screaming and shrieking of thousands of girls.

The events generally arise spontaneously and are regarded as dangerous see Collective hysteriaRiot. And since this somewhat Puritanical attitude has pervaded the world, all of us suffer from a lack of dancing in our lives.


Quotes from Dancing in the St There is mention of contemporary people who dance to hypnotic drumming, but there are no interviews with these musicians and dancers. The transformation from an agricultural economy to a mercantile, and then to an industrial economy certainly contributed much more to the loss of community, as did increasing urbanization, than did an oppressive elite.

Meanwhile, in the west, the sense of society as a single body was decaying with the rise of that new entity, the self, and its attendant anxieties about the opinions of others and fears of loss of individual identity.

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy by Barbara Ehrenreich

There is an attempt to address it, but the problem is that Ehrenreich’s definition of ecstatic joy is limited to readings of Ancient Greek sources. Clearly there is value in people dancing and singing and getting happy together, but she takes it too far.

Joy became a mental illness. Gatherings where the gods are raised; to manifest themselves in a shared spirit that kn across a crowd, leaving expressions of delight and wonder in its wake. Return to Book Page. She portrays it as the underdog to industrialization, exploitation, organized religion, social hierarchy and general inequality. Retrieved from ” https: She thinks any attempt to restrict or direct it is evil.