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dance.” Although she describes the patrons at Jacks as sometimes being “stuck up and
cliquey,” she spends most of her weekends in the club, describing it as “the only place
to go in 'Maritzburg,” with a “stylish” and “energetic” vibe. Like Emma, Amy's narrat-
ives also shed light on the complex relationship between the normative constraints of
the vibe and subjectivity. “No I dunno, but, umm, you have to be like a certain—when I
go to Jacks I always feel like I have to dress a certain way.”
The narratives of Claire, Emma, and Amy all show that club spaces—or, more pre-
cisely, the vibe of club spaces—can be experienced as being exclusionary. The sense
of not belonging is articulated in the language of feelings. The evidence for exclusion
is ambiguous and tenuous at best: Claire describing a feeling that people are watching
her dance or a feeling she gets when she walks in a room, Amy feels that she has to
dress a certain way, and Emma experiences a feeling of not fitting a stereotype, which
she concedes might simply be her imagination. The focus on feelings serves important
rhetorical functions in these accounts ofmarginalization. Talk about feelings is not veri-
fiable and this can be difficult to contest even though the evidence for exclusion might
be lacking (cf. Edwards and Potter 1992). The rhetorical stakes are quite high in such
talk about feeling unwelcome or out of place because it can imply criticism both of oth-
ers and the speakers themselves, who are destroying the good vibe. As such, talk about
feelings of exclusion provides self-justifying explanations that are designed to manage
accountability concerns.
One way to manage these accountability concerns successfully is to act appropriately
in relation to the feeling. The feelings of exclusion and talk about these feelings come
as part of an elaborate embodiment of not belonging. To gain rhetorical power of au-
Thus, the connecting of thought and affect happens by acting appropriately, bringing
talk, feelings, and embodied practices into alignment. Such an “articulation of talk and
embodied practice” then becomes constitutive of the vibe as much as it is derived from
it (Durrheim and Dixon 2005a; Durrheim, Mtose, and Brown 2011). Imagine Claire on
the “wishy-washy” top dance floor at the club. Likely, she is not dancing enthusiastic-
not being part of the vibe? To an outsider, she may appear to be one of the very people
“just watching you dance” of whom she is critical. As such, her feelings and actions are
partly constitutive of the vibe that she criticizes.
These extracts show that participants are concerned about inclusion and exclusion,
and that their talk about feeling the vibe can be considered a localized form of place
identity discourse that accomplishes effects of exclusion. In her definitive book on club
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