Madonna's Life

Topics: Gender role, Culture, Sociology Pages: 8 (2255 words) Published: April 8, 2011

* highly influential fashion and pop culture icon
* the center of a storm of controversy
* the best-selling and most discussed female singer in popular music * a superstar of pop culture
* adored and abhorred by audiences, critics, and academics (some celebrate her as a subversive cultural revolutionary, others attack her politically as anti-cultural conservative, or as irredeemably trashy and vulgar.)

I shall argue with Madonna is a genuine, site of contradiction 'that must be' articulated and appraised to adequately interpret her images and works, and their effects.

* Madonna's image and reception highlight the social constructedness of identify, fashion, and sexuality. * encourages experimentation, change, and production of one's individual identity * reinforces the norms of the consumer society that offers the possibilities of a new commodity "self" through consumption and the products of the fashion industry

Fashion and identity

* Fashion offers models and material for constructing identity.

* Traditional societies: fixed social roles and fixed sumptuary codes, so that clothes and one's appearance instantly denoted ones social class, profession, and status. A capitalist market dictated that only certain classes could afford the most expensive attire, which signified social privilege and power * Identity in traditional societies: fixed by birth, and the available repertoire of roles was tightly constricted to traditional social functions. * Gender roles: especially rigid, while work and status were tightly circumscribed by established social code and an obdurate system of status ascription

* Modern societies: eliminated rigid codes of dress and cosmetics, and beginning around 1700 changing fashions of apparel and appearance began proliferating. * In the aftermath of the French Revolution fashion: anyone who could afford certain clothes and makeup could wear and display what they wished. (Previously, sumptuary laws forbad members of certain classes from dressing and appearing like the ruling elites.)

* Modernity offered new possibilities for constructing personal identities. * Modern societies: possible for individuals to produce within certain limits — 'their own identities and experience identity crises. Already in the eighteenth century,’ the philosopher David Hume. * Fashion: an important constituent identity, helping to determine how one is perceived and accepted. (In modernity) * Fashion: a constituent feature of modernity interpreted as an era of history marked by perpetual innovation, by me destruction of the old and the creation of the new. ( E.g. tastes, artifacts, artifices, and practices) * Fashion and modernity go hand in hand to produce modern personalities who seek their identities in constantly new and trendy clothes, looks, attitudes and behavior and who are fearful of being out of date or unfashionable.

* Fashion in modern societies was limited by gender codes, economic realities, and the force of social conformity, which continued to dictate what one could or could not wear, and what one could or could not be.

* Documentary footage from the 1950s in artifacts such as the 1982 ABC documentary Heroes of Rock showed parents, teachers, and other arbiters of good taste attempting to dictate proper and improper fashion, thus policing the codes of fashion and identity.

* Crossing gender codes in fashion was for centuries a good way to mark oneself as a social outcast or even to land in jail or a mental institution.

* The 1960s exhibited a massive attempt to overthrow the cultural codes of the past, and fashion became an important element of the construction V of new identities, along 'with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, phenomena also involved in the changing fashions of the day.

* In the 1960s, anti-fashion in clothes and attire became fashionable, and the subversion...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Life Is a Journey Research Paper
  • end of life Essay
  • Life on Mars Essay
  • What Is Life Essay
  • Life and Death Essay
  • The Road of Life Essay
  • Essay on Life and Sorrow
  • Celebration Of Life Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free