Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The sociology of clothing

By Rebecca Leach
Fashion: we love it. Dressing up, decorating our bodies, displaying our glamour and prowess to the group - these are some of the things that provide belonging and identity. And sometimes, it's just the sheer 'stuff' of fashion that is exciting: shiny, silky fabric, its newness, its difference.

Fashion doesn't have to be about being a dupe.

But it shouldn't be about being a dope either. Let's not forget who is making the Primark £50 challenge clothes. Panorama recently reminded us (again) of the global dependence of shopping relations. It's our job to think, so think: is the global rag trade providing much needed economic development to poor regions? Or are Western shoppers parasitic on the poverty and exploitation of the global South?

By the way, you can explore these issues on some of our option modules on the Sociology programme: for example, the Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Cultures and Consumption and Generation; as well as Transnational Communities and Globalization.

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