Culture Studies for Fashion

Topics: Working class, Upper class, Sociology Pages: 4 (1330 words) Published: May 13, 2013
Culture Studies for fashion

3.What is fashion’s role in the construction of social identities? Discuss with reference to specific examples.

This essay discusses how fashion helps convey the social identity of the rich and wealthy. Status includes class, gender, and ages. Status is important in today’s society. As Coco Chanel said, ”women should dress as plainly as their maids” (Davis 1992:57). A person who is wealthy is a symbol of a person who is successful and of high income in the society. Being wealthy can upgrade one’s status to a higher class, and to be associated with the upper class society. Being wealthy will bring about better lifestyle and standard of living, which allows one to move to a better place and area of residence. Naturally, it creates a bigger opportunity to mingle with societies of a different class. This essay will discuss about status and wealth followed by the history of fashion and how important the type of fabric is in differentiating status and classes. We will then discuss about how technology in the 21st century has helped in the development of fashion.

In the late 13th and 14th century, the fabric and gem trade brought back from the east started and spread throughout Europe. These fabric and cloths could only be afforded by the rich, thus wearing these clothes showed the status in the society. This was as Davis (1992; 58) said, ‘Wearing one’s wealth on one’s back’. Different classes of people had very different lifestyles and attended different activities. For example the upper class people went shopping, had afternoon tea, attended evening balls, and were presented the chance to have an education in school. The standard of living was very vastly different as lower class people had to suffer, go through hunger, and possess no extra money for anything other than their basic necessities. Their source of income were either by working day and night in the factory, working as maids for the rich or operating small business...

Bibliography: Arvanitidou, Z. and Gasouka, M. Fashion, Gender and Social Identity [Online] Available: (Accessed 15 October 2012)
Auty,S. and Eillot,R. (1998) Social Identity and the Meaning of Fashion Brands. In European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3, Pages:1-10.
Barnard, M. (2002) Fashion as communication. Second edition. USA: Routledge
Accessed 25 October 2012
Crane, D. (2000) Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Davis, F. (1992) Fashion, Culture and Identity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Stets,J. and Bruke.P (2000) Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, Vol.63, No.3, 224-237 Washington: Washington State University.
Susan Auty and Richard Elliot (1998)"Social Identity and the Meaning of Fashion Brands", in European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3, eds. Basil G. Englis and Anna Olofsson, European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 3 : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1-10
Twigg,J. (2009) Clothing, Identity and the Embodiment of Age. In J. Powell and T. Gilbert (eds) Aging and Identity: A Postmodern Dialogue, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2009
Watkins, W (1998) Technology and Business Strategy: Getting the Most Out of Technological Assets. America: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about culture
  • fashion forecast Essay
  • fashion Essay
  • Fashion and Culture Essay
  • Essay about culture study for fashion
  • Fashion Identity Essay
  • Essay on fashion
  • Fashion Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free