Transfiguring Theaters for Disrespectable Leisure: An Ethnography on Black Womxn’s Ratchet Performances in Movie Showings of Girls Trip

Shardé M. Davis, Timeka N. Tounsel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This ethnographic study considers how Black womxn audiences collectively negotiated the politics of respectability in the movie theater, anecdotally referred to as cinema etiquette, in showings of the film Girls Trip. Data were collected in two local theaters in a Northeastern city using field interviews, follow-up telephone interviews, and participant observation. Findings revealed that Black womxn audiences (from various age groups) embodied an intersectional resistance discourse of disrespectability (Cooper, 2012, 2017, 2018) through their (non)verbal behaviors and an ecology of the senses (i.e., sight and sound) that were situated at the intersection of ratchetness, playfulness, and informality. In doing so, they created a “homeplace,” making an otherwise uncomfortable and highly regulated public space suitable for their collective spectatorship of the film. We argue that Black womxn’s embodiment of ratchetness is not necessarily a unidimensional endeavor, but rather an ever-evolving, multifaceted resource that enables Black womxn to reach political and pleasurable ends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)598-622
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume71
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Transfiguring Theaters for Disrespectable Leisure: An Ethnography on Black Womxn’s Ratchet Performances in Movie Showings of Girls Trip'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this