- ethnic dance
The ballet and modern dance establishment has a stranglehold on dance programs throughout North America. Dance ethnology, with one or two exceptions, takes a back seat to the study of Western theater dance forms and its major figures. Individuals highly trained in dance ethnology have a difficult time accumulating sufficient "cultural capital," in Bourdieu's terms, to secure meaningful positions. As a consequence, we must "spread our nets" in order that our research and writings become more relevant outside the dance field. Dance ethnologists are uniquely poised to respond to the strong emphasis on popular culture that currently characterizes the social studies and humanities.