Cultural and Historical Studies - Essay Example

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According to Bennett (2005), fashion provides one of the most ready means through which individuals can make expressive visual statements about their identities. As is suggested from the statement presented by Bennett, fashion is used by most people as one of the easiest and…
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Download file to see previous pages However, fashion is to a greater extent a term that refers further than the clothing aspect. As Kratz et al (1998) suggest, fashion can be broadly defined as a cultural phenomenon since it is concerned with different meanings and symbols. It is thus a mode of instant and direct visual communication. They contend that fashion can be broadly used to refer to other aspects such as hair styles, accessories make up and can also include other items that do not have anything at all to do with clothing (1998, p. 195). Therefore, there are a lot of assumptions that can be made about an individual through the mere observation of the dress they are wearing. These include the part of the continent that they are likely to be coming from, the kind of job that they are likely to hold, or even their economic position. However, an important question is still raised as to whether we as the audience are able to make a true assumption of the true character of an individual simply by looking at what they wear. In general, however, fashion is mostly about identity, which is used to define the self as Roche (2000, p. 123) describes it as the “most talkative of all social facts”.
On the other hand, identity can be defined as a way through which individuals can represent themselves in a social manner. It is this that mediates the relationship between the individual and the social world within which he lives. There are a number of reasons that push an individual to want to express their identity. These mainly revolve around issues that are related to the social status, the economic class, gender, age, race, ethnicity, religious condition, recreation, sexual orientation and individualism. When fashion is applied in a creative way, individuals are able to confirm or reject most of these aspects about identity and fashion (Barker 2000, p. 58). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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