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This thesis is a study of the merging of gay and straight dance club subcultures through an analysis of selected nightclubs in the city of Tallahassee, Florida. Fieldwork was conducted in two straight dance clubs that have incorporated specialized nights, known as 'metro nights' or 'house party nights,' where club promoters aim to bring in lesbian, gay, and bisexual patrons. The motivation for attending these clubs was the focus of the thesis. This study aimed to determine whether sociocultural changes, musical aesthetics, or both were responsible for bringing patrons to dance clubs regardless of their sexual orientations. An analysis of the answers collected from this fieldwork revealed patterns emerging that transcended both gender and sexual orientation. Ultimately, the study revealed that for many individuals, a combination of sociocultural and preferential/experiential factors were relevant, and for most the motivation drawing them to the club centered on issues of comfort and musical aesthetics. With the mixing of dance club subcultures, these club patrons and DJs are creating a new soundscape and social situation for those in the club. I posit that in transforming the traditions and conventions of dance club culture, these individuals are contributing to the creation of a more inclusive, pansexual club culture that allows for a celebration and experience of difference in gender and sexuality that is not always possible, let alone acceptable, in other contexts of mainstream culture.
A Thesis Submitted to the College of Music in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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