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Culture, Identity and Intense Performativity : Being in the Zone (Hardcover)
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This volume offers groundbreaking research that brings sociological and cultural studies to bear on the idea of being in the zone. There is original research on musicians, dancers and surfers and new ideas that show being in the zone has to be understood in relation to its social and cultural context and that far from being exclusively individualised and private ‘bitz’ is social and can be collective.
We have all heard about ‘being in the zone’ and many of us think we understand that this means someone performing in a different, highly competent and pleasurable way. Musicians, sportspeople and workers all report these kinds of experiences. But being in the zone remains poorly understood and disconnected from social and cultural factors.
Being in the zone is not just the province of the athlete who suddenly and seemingly without extra effort swims faster or jumps higher or the musician who suddenly plays more than perfectly, but also of the doctor working under intense pressure or the programmer staying up all night. The meaning of such experiences for convincing people to work in intense conditions, often with short term contracts, is explored to show how being in the zone can have problematic effects and have negative and constraining as well as creative and productive implications.
Written in a stimulating and accessible style, Being in the Zone will strongly appeal to students and researchers who aim to understand the experience of work, creativity, musicianship and sport. Issues of the body are also central to being in the zone and will make this book relevant to anyone studying the body. This collection will establish being in the zone as an important area of enquiry for social science and the humanities.