Performance in Culture

D. Kapchan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


To study performance in culture is to experience culture in action, culture as it is being created - in festivals, sermons, political speeches, elections, marriage ceremonies, war, and other events. Performance is enacted with the body and its senses, and sometimes with words. It is often done face to face, but mediated performances also exist. To pay attention to performance and the performative aspects of culture is to attend to the evanescent, the moment of 'now' and how it responds to and recreates the 'then.' Performances are ephemeral, yet the stories that we tell about performance determine the foundational myths of society and personhood, including definitions of gender, ethnicity, race, nation, and subjectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Language & Linguistics
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780080448541
StatePublished - 2006


  • Context
  • Cultural preservation
  • Drama
  • Enactment
  • Interpretation
  • Performance
  • Ritual
  • Theater
  • Verbal play

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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