The production of fantasy in space, discourse and embodied practice : gender and desire in a South African nightclub.
Historically, the study of fantasy has been one of the innermost workings of the psyche, making it largely inaccessible to those unwilling to work with a psychoanalytic model of the mind. This means that an important area of study remains largely unexplored by those working within alternative paradigms. However, with recent work by theorists such as Billig (1999), Burkitt (2010a, 2010b) and Durrheim (2012) on the dialogic unconscious and repression, areas previously confined to psychoanalytic study are becoming more accessible to interactionist approaches. Building on works such as these, and those of theorists such as Butler (1990, 1993, 1997), this paper theorises the production of fantasy in talk, space and embodied practice. Fantasy is argued to be produced on the boundaries of that which is speakable or performable within a given context, referencing taboo in performative and dialogic disavowal or repression. This framework for the production of fantasy is then applied to talk around, and the performance of, a provocative, gendered practice known as the screaming orgasm, which is performed in club spaces in South Africa and abroad. This paper reports on an ethnomethodologically informed ethnographic study which took place at one South African night club over the course of several months.