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Author

Julia Dowling

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

D. Jennifer Nourse

Abstract

Ring Dance is a gala for junior year women of Westhampton College at the University of Richmond to celebrate their academic achievements with family and friends. It has been a tradition since the 1930’s. Last year (2014) Ring Dance was like every other year. ...

This year however, Ring Dance took a very different turn. A night that was supposed to be a celebration instead was one that almost led to a riot. Almost everything about the event was the same. The Jefferson was just as beautiful and regal as always. Families and younger students filled the lobby and the ballrooms. However, there were two changes that provided all the difference. ...

This paper will start by looking at the theoretical conceptions of tradition in the discipline of Anthropology and how they have evolved. The theory will then be applied to look at the discursive meanings and behavior of the event and then the conflict at this year’s Ring Dance. Overall, I argue that there are two very distinct discourses through which Ring Dance is understood and, due to the changes this year, these two discursive meanings were in conflict with each other.

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