Gender identity is the main topic within the field of anthropology of gender: it is an identity with a polysemic character. The present paper focuses on the identity of social gender, since gender is a field of negotiation and a criterion for the analysis of culture. Social gender is a result of social-cultural constructions, established through the repetition of stereotypical dance acts. In this context, dance functions as a symbol, and its study allows the understanding of social structures, and therefore, the understanding of gender identity. Every dance event can be approached as a conceptual field, in which participants act according to gender standards and experience themselves as gender subjects.
The aim of this paper is to show the gender social structures and relations within dance and dance practices, as they are imprinted on the mountain and lowland areas of Karditsa (Thessaly), in combination with the predominant social structures. For this purpose, we made use of the theoretical model of Hanna, where dance and dance executions are fields of negotiation of gender identity, as well as Cowan’ s model, according to which social gender can be studied within the context of “dance events.”
Through the analysis of these “events,” several discrepancies in social structures and relations were detected between the lowland and mountain communities. These differences are based on dance occasions, and participation or lack of participation of both genders in these occasions, according to dance norms, dance order, and dance types. The above discrepancies constitute gender diversity among lowland and mountain communities, as a result of local social structures and the performative acts.