Fashioning identities : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Sociology at Massey University

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Massey University
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This research addresses the way in which individual and collective identities are constructed through fashions in the contemporary western world. The reciprocal and interdependent relationship of processually emergent identities, and fashion as a system of cultural representation, is initially established. The argument maintains that certain theoretical explanations of fashion have marginalised this component of the fashion process, and the aim of the thesis is to place the often contradictory junctures of fashions and identities in positions of central importance in the consideration of fashion dynamics. The argument critically reviews different feminist explanations of fashion, and the implications these have for feminist debates around gender and gender identity. The thesis further examines the sociological debates around modernism and postmodernism, and evaluates the contributions of this debate for both the study of fashion, and feminist understandings of identities. The research concludes that contemporary theoretical shifts in the investigation of fashions and identities are the fruition of a 'long revolution' in sociological theory and practice, which indicate important developments for the future resolution of critical problems in the theory of style and politics.
Psychological aspects, Gender identity, Clothing and dress, Fashion -- Social aspects