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Choreography, controversy and child sex abuse: Theoretical reflections on a cultural criminological analysis of dance in a pop music video

Dearey, Melissa


Melissa Dearey


This article was inspired by the controversy over claims of ‘pedophilia!!!!’ undertones and the ‘triggering’ of memories of childhood sexual abuse in some viewers by the dance performance featured in the music video for Sia’s ‘Elastic Heart’ (2015). The case is presented for acknowledging the hidden and/or overlooked presence of dance in social scientific theory and cultural studies and how these can enhance and advance cultural criminological research. Examples of how these insights have been used within other disciplinary frameworks to analyse and address child sex crime and sexual trauma are provided, and the argument is made that popular cultural texts such as dance in pop music videos should be regarded as significant in analysing and tracing public perceptions and epistemologies of crimes such as child sex abuse.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 1, 2018
Journal Theoretical criminology
Print ISSN 1362-4806
Electronic ISSN 1461-7439
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 2
Pages 189-205
Keywords Child sex abuse; Choreography; Cultural criminology; Dance; Kinesthetics; Music video
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2017 the Author
Additional Information This is a copy of the accepted manuscript of an article published in Theoretical criminology, 2017.


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