Creating the extraordinary: the social practices of a fantasy event.

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The idea of events being opposed to everyday life is widely reflected in events literature. Events are generally characterized as being ‘out of the ordinary’. This paper explores the creation and performance of the extraordinary, as well as the spills over of the extraordinary into everyday life. Using ethnographic methods, such as participant observation and interviews, the social practices of the fantasy event ‘Elfia’ were studied. The results show how the participants, both in everyday life and during the event, actively create and maintain the extraordinary via meanings, materials and competences. But instead of being completely out of the ordinary, the event provides a temporary re-arrangement of status and social order. This paper challenges the dominant narrative about events as extraordinary spaces of freedom and escapism. Instead, the extraordinary turns out to be interwoven with everyday life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-592
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cosplay
  • Goffman
  • events
  • performance
  • practice approach


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