Sneakers: Fashion, Gender, and Subculture

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Jan 28, 2016 - Social Science - 176 pages
This is the first academic study of sneakers and the subculture that surrounds them. Since the 1980s, American sneaker enthusiasts, popularly known as “sneakerheads” or “sneakerholics”, have created a distinctive identity for themselves, while sneaker manufacturers such as Reebok, Puma and Nike have become global fashion brands.

How have sneakers come to gain this status and what makes them fashionable? In what ways are sneaker subcultures bound up with gender identity and why are sneakerholics mostly young men? Based on the author's own ethnographic fieldwork in New York, where sneaker subculture is said to have originated, this unique study traces the transformation of sneakers from sportswear to fashion symbol.

Sneakers explores the obsessions and idiosyncrasies surrounding the sneaker phenomenon, from competitive subcultures to sneaker painting and artwork. It is a valuable contribution to the growing study of footwear in fashion studies and will appeal to students of fashion theory, gender studies, sociology, and popular culture.
 

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Contents

List of Illustrations
Placing Sneakers within
Sneakers and youth subcultures within sociology
A background of the sneaker industry
Literature on sneakers
A cademic Research on Footwear
Emerging from
Wearing
The Sneaker Subculture from Durkheimian
xxxviii
Future Directions and Possibilities
xlix
Notes
lxi
Index
xciii
Reclaiming Masculine
2-4
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Yuniya Kawamura is Professor of Sociology at the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, USA. She is the author of The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion (Berg, 2004), Fashion-ology (Berg, 2005), Doing Research in Fashion and Dress (Berg, 2011), and Fashioning Japanese Subcultures (Berg, 2012).

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