The Sociology of Fashion

Course Code: SOCI 237

Academic Year: 2021-2022

"There is something about fashion that can make people very nervous." Anna Wintour, editor Vogue, "The September Issue" What is it about fashion that makes people nervous? Could it be the number of anxieties fashion engenders on a social as well as personal scale, or is it the exclusivity of the fashion world that works to reinforce social divisions that makes some people nervous? From Ferraris to Fiat 500s and stiletto heels to miniskirts, fashion, in its multifaceted manifestations, alters, shapes and constructs our very understanding of the self. This course surveys the role fashion plays in shaping identities and meanings within the social context. The course assumes that fashion is not merely a capitalist invention, nor is it a superficial aspect of culture, but that fashion is integral to the formation of culture. The course engages students in debates about the meaning of fashion, its validity as scholarly research and its breadth.