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Clothing and Identity. Sartorial Systems. Notes on assignment after the break What is your sartorial system? How is your sartorial system connected to your identity? always & unavoidably culturally coded. Self-representation or group ID. dress as self-representation or as group identity

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sartorial systems
Sartorial Systems
  • Notes on assignment after the break
  • What is your sartorial system?
  • How is your sartorial system connected to your identity?
  • always & unavoidably culturally coded

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self representation or group id
Self-representation or group ID
  • dress as self-representation or as group identity
  • clothing expresses or conceals identity in myriad ways
  • boundaries encoded by differences in society, culture, and ideology

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political symbolic meanings
Political & symbolic meanings
  • modern Western dress as step away from traditional values and spirituality
  • abolishing distinctions – race, language, religion, culture, tradition
  • antithesis of cultural clothing, marked by formal stability
  • women in traditional & Eastern societies

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identity ambivalence
Identity Ambivalence
  • Fred Davis, "Identity Ambivalence, Fashion's Fuel"
  • uncertainty re. approach, attitude, treatment
  • ambivalence of self - main drive for fashion
  • fashion prevalent in the West - identity ambivalences - fluid and 'unstable‘ Western society
  • India: clothing related to caste, level of education, urbanization, larger cultural debate re Indian identity

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references
references
  • Davis, Fred. "Do Clothes Speak? What Makes Them Fashion?" Fashion, Culture and Identity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. 3-18.
  • ______. "Identity Ambivalence, Fashion's Fuel." Fashion, Culture and Identity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992. 19-29.
  • Khan, Naseem. "Asian Women's Dress: From Burqah to Bloggs -- Changing Clothes for Changing Times." Chic Thrills: A Fashion Reader. Ed. Juliet Ash & Elizabeth Wilson. London: Pandora, 1992.
  • Tarlo, Emma Clothing Matters: Dress and Identity in India. C. Hurst & Co. 1996

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clothing identity movies
Clothing & Identity & Movies
  • Stella Bruzzi defines and reads characters through their clothes
  • codes & systems functioning in relation to clothes & identity in black movies
  • social, institutional and political contexts
  • reception
  • textual analysis: significance of appearance to the heroes’ identities – clothes function as important signifiers

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context
context
  • The Dandy Tradition
  • zoot suit street style 1940s
  • emblem of ethnicity
  • way of negotiating identity
  • subcultural gesture

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textual analysis
Textual analysis
  • commodifying blackness?
  • locking black protagonist into old stereotypes?
  • Naïve or aware of issues of representation?
  • duality, contradiction, nuance, juxtaposition and complexity - & the possibilities for variations in reading

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identity identification
Identity & Identification
  • signs not always clear
  • how the wearer conceives of his/her clothes
  • how the rest of the world reads or understands them
  • conflicting or competing codes

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meaning the body
Meaning & the body
  • no innate meaning
  • invested with meaning & value by cultural practices
  • everything BOTH individual expressions of self AND embodiments of society’s norms, conventions and expectations
  • identity constituted “not outside but within representation”
  • clothing as a discourse

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