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Fashion and Appearance Central to the Construction of Social Identities - Essay Example

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According to research findings of the paper "Fashion and Appearance Central to the Construction of Social Identities", ethnicity, culture, globalization and localization all play different roles in the propagation of social identities through fashion. The way one appears says a lot about who they are, where they come from and what they believe in. …
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Fashion and Appearance Central to the Construction of Social Identities
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Download file to see previous pages In other words, fashion describes is a behaviour that is prevalent during a specific period. Fashion and appearance go hand in hand in that people tend to follow what is prevalent in order to be regarded in a particular manner.
Males and females have different forms of dressing. All cultures have different expectations of how men and women should dress. For a long time in the western culture, skirts and dresses were meant to be worn by females while breeches were a preserve for men. There are also some racial groups that have their own unique dress codes. For instance, traditional Africans had specific dress codes for different purposes and occasions. In many instances, for example, leopard skins were worn by warriors when going for war. In Indian culture, red saris are worn by brides during weddings (Crane, 2000). Religion as a form of social identity also plays a major role in determining fashion styles. For instance, conservative Christians tend to dress in non-fitting clothes that cover most of their bodies. Muslims have their hijabs while monks have their cassocks. The social class in which one identifies with can be determined by the type of clothes the person is wearing. Individuals on the upper side of the social ladder normally don expensive attire normally accompanied by equally expensive accessories (Steele, 2010).
The issue of ethnicity in the context of national identity is not a new one and it takes many forms. In both the ancient and contemporary world, ethnicity had an important role to play in the creation of national dresses. National dresses were used, as they are used today, to identify a certain people with a certain nationality, thus giving them a distinct social identity as citizens of a specific country (Davis, 1992). The ancient Greeks had their national robes which were a major identification of the Greek culture. Ethnicity plays the same important role in the creation of national dresses today. In countries where there is limited cultural diversity, or where the people all share the same cultural background, ethnicity does not present a big problem when it comes to the creation of a national dress (Steele, 2010). A case in point is Scotland where the national dress incorporates much of the Scottish tradition. When one wears a Scottish kilt, it is easy to identify him with the Scots since the kilt is unique to Scotsmen. The same thing can be said of India, China, Japan and Arab states where the people more or less share a common ethnicity. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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