Fashion, Culture, and Identity

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University of Chicago Press, Sep 1, 1994 - Social Science - 226 pages
4 Reviews
What do our clothes say about who we are or who we think we are? How does the way we dress communicate messages about our identity? Is the desire to be "in fashion" universal, or is it unique to Western culture? How do fashions change? These are just a few of the intriguing questions Fred Davis sets out to answer in this provocative look at what we do with our clothes—and what they can do to us.

Much of what we assume to be individual preference, Davis shows, really reflects deeper social and cultural forces. Ours is an ambivalent social world, characterized by tensions over gender roles, social status, and the expression of sexuality. Predicting what people will wear becomes a risky gamble when the link between private self and public persona can be so unstable.
 

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Fashion, culture, and identity

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Davis (emeritus professor of sociology, Univ. of California-San Diego) discusses several intriguing theories about fashion's social and psychological significance in modern culture. What makes clothes ... Read full review

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fashion is a style, coustom or anything to which we give value

Contents

Acknowledgments
ix
Do Clothes Speak? What Makes Them Fashion?
1
Identity Ambivalence Fashions Fuel
19
Ambivalences of Gender Boys Will Be Boys Girls Will Be Boys
31
Ambivalences of Status Flaunts and Feints
53
Ambivalences of Sexuality The Dialectic of the Erotic and the Chaste
77
Fashion as Cycle Fashion as Process
99
Stages of the Fashion Process
119
Antifashion The Vicissitudes of Negation
157
Conclusion and Some Afterthoughts
187
References
205
Index
215
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