From Bawdyhouse to Cabaret: The Evolution of the Tango as an Expression of Argentine Popular Culture


Journal Article

While most readers will be generally familiar with the tango, few of us know very much about its fascinating history and evolution. Deborah Jakubs makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of this initially working‐class cultural form, which was at first disdained and then appropriated by the Argentine middle and upper classes. She traces its origins in the lower class neighborhoods on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, its exportation to major European cultural centers, and finally its repatriation to Argentina where it has become a symbol of tradition and national identity. The author ably leads us through the maze of studies that historians, sociologists, musicologists and others have generated over the last hundred years. She examines some of the tango's principal themes in order to delineate its cultural significance within Argentine society in general and within Buenos Aires in particular. We come away from this article much more cognizant of how a popular cultural form can function in the formation of a nation's identity. Copyright © 1984, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jakubs, DL

Published Date

  • January 1, 1984

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 133 - 145

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-5931

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3840

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.0022-3840.1984.1801_133.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus