TXC 007: Week 5 Notes
TXC 007: Week 5 Notes TXC 007
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Demi Chang on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to TXC 007 at University of California - Davis taught by Linda Matheson in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Fashion and Cultural Studies in Textiles And Apparel at University of California - Davis.
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Date Created: 02/17/16
TXC 007: Fashion and Cultural Studies- Week 5 Notes Linda F. Matheson A. Ethnicities and Racial Re-Articulations: Racial Re-articulations show how racial/ethnic boundaries and meanings are constantly revised both from the bottom up (through everyday shifts in our appearance) and from the top down (by media and legal categories imposed through cultural discourse). ● Ethnicity: The place or space from which people articulate their identities and the communities with whom they relate due to cultural background. To Europeans, ethnic meant anything that wasn’t Christian or Jewish- a belief that is contradictory to what “ethnic” really means. 1. The history of the word “et:nic” a. (15th century):Hethnic: Meaning“heathen” or “pagan”. b. (19th century):Ethnic: Pertaining to race, particular to a race or nation c. Ethnological :Common racial, cultural, relig. linguistic characteristics. This contrasts the U.S.’s melting pot model, where different characteristics are “mixed” together. d. (Today): Ethnic Minority:A group of people different from the rest of community by racial origins or cultural background and usually claiming and/or enjoying official recognition. These groups tend to resist the melting pot. 2. Ethnicity often intersectreligiond ender: a. Orthodox Jews often consider their religion as their ethnicity, while others consider it as their race. b. Nuns are often unified by their habits (often coined “living cloisters”), and are unable to become priests. On the other hand, the newly elected cardinals under the Pope were all male. c. In the Russian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch Kirill of Russia shows his Russian ethnicity and religious power through his elaborate garb. ● Ethnic Dress : The style-fashion-dress of a particular ethnicity. Ethnic dress is often shifting; it is “not static or fixed in the past”. It involves “not only articulations, but re-articulations” that complicate the continuous structure of time/history. Sometimes there is a national agreement (1-a.) while often times there is not (1-b). 1. National examples include: a. The Swedish royal family wearing the traditional garments for their wedding. b. In Greenland, each community has their own traditional costume- from polar bear coat and seal leggings in in the north to colorful, intricate dress in the south. Here, traditional dress is synonymous to everyday wear. c. Egyptians wearing Pharaonic costumes before a statue of a man digging the Suez Canal. 2. Political examples include: a. In China, Putin and Obama both dressed in China’s national attire to meet the Chinese prime minister, Xi Jinping. B. Religion and Ethnicity in Style-Fashion-Dress : ● Ethnicity in Style-Fashion-Dress : 1. Jewish Communities : The Jewish were really good with the production and distribution of clothing. With their success in New York, they decided to move west. a. In the 1870’s, Levi Strauss launches their company in San Francisco. b. Jacob Davis : A Latvian who became instrumental in the success of Levi Strauss. Davis would always wear out the clothing his wife gave him, so he tried out rivets (which were originally used on horse blankets) for the pant pockets. 2. South Asian Communities: Religion allowed South Asian communities to maintain their sense of of ethnic identity, curb complete Americanization, and transfer their cultural heritage to future generations. Minority groups statistically are more likely to be influenced by their ethnicity in regards to their dress compared to majority groups. a. Indian attire is often appropriated by Western culture- such as wearing saris, bangles, or henna. While Indian culture specifies the appropriate occasion for each of these, it is only seen as a beautiful style to Westerners- which to Indians, belittles and mocks their culture. b. Through history, fascination of the Orient (or the “exotic”) reappears and contributes to the Western, masculine “harem fantasies”. Originally, Western women did not wear trousers, unlike other countries where trousers were practical. ● Race in Style-Fashion-Dress : 1. People and Quote: a. Stuart Hall: We need to take politics more seriously and biology less seriously”. In the 18th-20th century, “race” was represented through scientific discourse as a biological concept tied to physical features like skin color, hair texture, facial features, and other visible qualities of physical appearance. Yet many scholars noted how “race” is in fact a kind of fiction. b. Herbert Gans :“A major ingredient of the social construction of race is the determination of which bodily features are noticed and used to delineate race and which remain unnoticed ”. I. Unmarked Whiteness:White skin is still hegemonic and continues to dominate because it is “unmarked”, which allows it to maintain “natural” status as norm. Note that if someone is “unmarked”, where little/no attention is given to a person/group, they will actually retain hegemonic power because the power is elsewhere, allowing for more flexibility for those hoping to retain power. II. Cicero: In dress“the intermediate course is best”,where finding a mean between negligence and over-refinement allows one is safely unmarked and will escape caustic comment. This person is coined as “the unmarked man ”. III. Marked by the Media: Representations created by the “news” can often cause people to become marked (and allow the unmarked to retain their power). For example, Clive Duncan in the zoot suit” became marked after being reported by the NY Times. Also, people with sagging jeans would be directly jailed. c. Maxine Craig: “Race is a set of socially constructed boundaries, practices, and commonly held meanings mapped unto a population whose members themselves represent wide physical and social diversity”. d. Richard Fouchaux : He conceptualized the idea of race as a discourse. 2. Biological Essentialism: The problem of being locked into the idea that biology determines everything about who we are (and not recognizing cultural, political, and social issues…). 3.ace:TheFloatingSignifierVideoOverview: a. Race is not fixed in its nature or meaning. It is not related to biology and genetics, but history and language. Skin color is a signifier which has meaning in culture. The meaning of skin color are often different and changes depending on the context. Race and ethnicity are constructed as mechanisms for classifying human differences. b. Religion, anthropology, and science were signifier of knowledge and truth. So when it came to determining the nature of the people in the New World, we did not perceive these men and women as are our brothers and sisters. Instead, we used religion anthropology, and science to justify a differentiation. “God made two people not one, they are anthropologically “closer to monkeys”, and people are “genetically different species that don’t belong together”.
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