By Peter Corrigan
It was once regularly stated that 'clothes maketh the man'. yet what codes and meanings are linked to gown in a society that contains divisions among category, race, gender, relatives prestige and faith? Is social and cultural existence nonetheless essentially themed by means of the garments that we put on? if this is the case, how should still we learn those codes and topics so as to decipher their relation to energy and meaning?
This exhaustive ebook demonstrates how gown shapes and is formed by means of social approaches and phenomena reminiscent of good looks, time, the physique, the present alternate, classification, gender and faith. It does this via an research of subject matters just like the Islamic garments controversy in nation faculties, the multitude of identities linked to costume, the costume Reform circulate, the development of the physique in style magazines and the position of the web in style. What emerges is a trenchant, sharply saw account of where of costume in modern society.
The e-book may be of curiosity to scholars and researchers in Sociology, Cultural reports, Women's experiences, Gender reports, Anthropology and type stories.
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Additional resources for The dressed society: clothing, the body and some meanings of the world
For these writers, then, it is not the case that apparelled appearances do not count or ought not to count in political and public life, but rather that they count very much indeed. The fabrication of a dignified appearance is essential to legitimate participation in these domains, and clothing practices that render an entire class of person ‘undignified’ function to maintain political exclusion. ‘Dignity’ seems to require clothing that does not draw attention to the body of the person as such, and so the finery and furbelows of Cridge and the feathers and beads of Wells are essential elements in the gendered algebra of political inequalities.
Masculinity of a certain type seemed to be under particular threat from what appeared to such writers to be an unmanly interest in dress, but the ‘proper’ type could at least still be found in Fénelon’s utopia. The properly masculine qualities of wisdom and glory are to be found neither in the enchantments of the wardrobe nor in those of the looking glass. The mapping of gender differences in dress onto broader gender inequalities is most pronounced in the feminist science fiction of the 1970s, and has already been touched upon in the section on power: for both Russ (1985 : 29) and Gearhart (1985 : 68, 91) non-utopian women’s clothing is specifically designed to please men and, for Russ in particular (1985 : 65–7, 122, 135, 151), an intense preoccupation with these man-pleasing ‘pretty clothes’ almost makes up the whole of what being a proper non-utopian woman is.
In either case, society will appear consensual on the aesthetic level. Whose ‘grace’, ‘elegance’ and ‘harmony’ triumph in utopias? Utopians would answer that art itself provides the laws for such things, but this view may itself be typical of a particular class. There is clearly scope for research that would map nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century aesthetic terms onto social class. qxd 13/09/2007 3:43 PM Page 38 The Dressed Society The gendered division of labour Students of sociology will be familiar with the notion of the Great Transformation, which refers to the large number of economic, political and social changes that accompanied the process of capitalist industrialization in nineteenth-century Europe.