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Introduction: The DIY Ethos

Brent Luvaas

Source: DIY Style. Fashion, Music and Global Digital Cultures 2012

Book chapter

First and foremost, we have here a discourse that is authoritarian: one has to express oneself, one has to speak, communicate, cooperate, and so forth.

Introduction to Subcultural Body Style

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

After World War II, subcultures surfaced with prominence in urban spaces within Western culture (Thompson 1998). Scholars speculate that these subcultures formed because of shared issues and common needs that set them apart from mainstream culture and society (Cohen 1955). Over time, the term “subculture” gained negative connotations for four primary reasons. First, the very term “subculture” has a prefix of “sub,” which suggests something lower or below. Second, subculture members often come fro

Subcultural Body Style History

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

From the time we are born, the human body is modified for physical, spiritual, psychological, social, and cultural transformations. In fact, prehistoric mummies found in recent years suggest that body practices, modifications, associated supplements, and rituals were significant in the earliest of human cultures (Winge 2003). In 1991 a frozen Stone Age male mummy was found in the Ötztal Alps. Nicknamed Ötzi, this mummy shows evidence of possibly the earliest body modifications ever discovered. Re

Subcultural Body Style and Identity

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

Each subculture member has individual lived body experiences, which collectively create the generalizations about the subculture’s identity. These generalizations are then further extended to collective ideas about identity regarding the individual member, the specific subculture, and the entirety of all subcultures to some degree. The subcultural body becomes an amalgam of experiences—for example, piercings, tattoos, spiky hair, and propensity toward pain. Furthermore, each subculture has unwrit

Subcultural Body Style

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

While it may seem contrary to the individualistic nature of subcultures, these groups have style guidelines expected by members. Subcultural groups subtly and visually communicate acceptable dress and styles to current and future members, as well as to outsiders and posers (i.e., individuals who purposefully mimic subcultural dress). Accordingly, Ted Polhemus and Lynn Proctor (1978) state: The dress code of a social group prescribes limits, not absolute uniformity. To suggest that social identity

Future of Subcultural Body Style

Therèsa M. Winge

Source: Body Style 2012

Book chapter

Many Western subcultures contribute to and influence contemporary examples of fashion. The Hippie subculture influenced numerous fashion trends, such as embroidered jeans, shawls, and use of the peace symbol. The Punk subculture is credited with many 1980s fashion trends, such as distressed jeans, safety pin accessories, and band buttons or pins. During the past few decades, the Urban Tribal movement influenced contemporary body fashions with the use and display of body modifications, technologie

Clothes and Cultural Identities: Music, Ethnicity and Nation

Janice Miller

Source: Fashion and Music 2011

Book chapter

Martin Stokes contends that music has provided a means by which individuals and communities come to understand themselves in relation to other groups with whom they contrast themselves, thus establishing the ‘difference between’. Therefore, he argues that ‘music is socially meaningful not entirely, but largely because it provides means by which people recognise identities and places and the boundaries which separate them’ (Stokes 1994: 5).

Indian Madras: From Currency to Identity

Sandra Lee Evenson

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Indian madras plaids are a grouping of yarn-dyed cotton fabrics woven in South India, often by hand. India has a long history of producing cotton fabrics for export markets, dating from at least the first century c.e. and perhaps as early as 3000 b.c.e. Variations on the basic checked or plaid cotton fabric are known by many names including lungi, telia rumal, real madras handkerchief (RMHK), injiri, george cloth, bleeding madras, and Indian madras, representing their use in Southeast Asia, Afric

Biographies in Dress

Emma Tarlo

Source: Visibly Muslim. Fashion, Politics, Faith 4th Edition 2010

Book chapter

Rezia Wahid’s biography demonstrates the breadth and combination of ideological, sensual and visual resources on which she has drawn in the development of her personal aesthetic in dress and textile art. It is an aesthetic born chiefly out of the creative interplay of distant memories of Bangladesh and concrete experiences of Britain and Islam.

Geographies of Hijab

Emma Tarlo

Source: Visibly Muslim. Fashion, Politics, Faith 4th Edition 2010

Book chapter

A hairdressing salon in a quiet residential neighbourhood of North West London may not seem an obvious place for thinking about hijab, for this is a neighbourhood more noticeable for the whiteness of its inhabitants than for its multiculturalism. But hairdressing salons are interesting places for the easy flow of interaction and conversation they encourage. What follows is an account of how, why and to what effect the hijab became a topic of interest and concern in one particular neighbourhood sa

Navigations of Style

Emma Tarlo

Source: Visibly Muslim. Fashion, Politics, Faith 4th Edition 2010

Book chapter

The hijab, as we have already seen, is fraught with contradictory interpretations and expectations and nowhere is this more apparent than in hijabi women’s own discourses on the subject. On the one hand many are anxious to specify that the hijab ‘is just a piece of cloth’—a simple bit of fabric wrapped around the head. They are therefore highly critical of the so-called fetishization of hijab in the media. On the other hand a huge amount of time, energy and reflection is spent discussing personal

Covering Concerns

Emma Tarlo

Source: Visibly Muslim. Fashion, Politics, Faith 4th Edition 2010

Book chapter

Russell Square tube station, 9.30 a.m., June 2007. A robed figure steps into the tube train. She is wearing a long free-flowing black abaya which sweeps from her shoulders to the floor. Her head is bound with a tight black headscarf, her face covered with a black face veil (niqab), tied at the back. Her eyes briefly scan her surroundings through the narrow slit of her niqab. She carries a large and noticeably stylish grey bag containing books and a file. She is probably a student. A middle-aged m

Islamic Fashion Scape

Emma Tarlo

Source: Visibly Muslim. Fashion, Politics, Faith 4th Edition 2010

Book chapter

If there is one factor that the first generation of British Islamic fashion designers share in common it is an understanding of the clothing dilemmas of young Muslims living in the West who wish to dress in ways that are fashionable and modern on the one hand and faithful and modest on the other. It is a dilemma which most designers learned, not so much through savvy market research and economic foresight, as from their own highly personal experiences of being unable to find clothes which express

Collection L

Maja Gunn

Source: Fashion in Fiction. Text and Clothing in Literature, Film, and Television 2009

Book chapter

The word “lesbian” has historically often been used as a disparaging term (Aldrich 2006). But there have been other words for explaining the attraction between women. The identification with the word “lesbianism” for the contributors of Collection L was varied. For example, “Alex” (Figure 10.1) noted that women sometimes refuse the socially imposed lesbian category. Others proudly make use of the term: I don’t identify myself as a lesbian. For me lesbian is not something negative, but it is somet

Setting the Scene

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Spring 2003, Lowlife, a Goth clubnight in Brighton (England). More than a decade later I am again sitting in the corner of a smoke-filled club, watching people dance. The eerie guitar sounds have become rare over the years; the rhythms have got faster and harsher, and so have the dance styles. I spot a man with a crew cut, combat fatigues and a muscle shirt, stomping back and forth in a martial manner to the sound of distorted electronic beats. Next to him there is a girl dressed in a tight black

Subverting Gender, Gendering Subculture

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Academic definitions of subculture have shifted considerably over the last four decades, with gender turning from a factor which used to be completely passed over into a central element of subcultural research. Likewise, since the feminist movement placed gender on the cultural and academic agenda in the 1970s, the meanings assigned to this concept and the ways it is applied to humanities research in particular have changed markedly.

Style and Status

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Conspicuous styles with their high visibility and expressive character form one of the most important markers of subcultural affiliation. In this chapter and the two following ones, I analyse the style practices of the Goth subculture through the lens of gender, here focusing on male androgyny and female hyperfemininity in Gothic dress and the relative value of these style practices in terms of subcultural capital.

Female Style and Subjectivity

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

So far I have discussed male and female Gothic style in terms of status and subcultural capital, evaluating gendered Goth styles from the perspective of the general norms and values of the scene. The following two chapters focus more on the subjective meanings and functions Goths assign to their styles, starting here with an analysis of hyperfemininity as a source of personal empowerment.

Masculinity in Style

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Male androgynous style has already been discussed as a major source of status and subcultural capital on the Gothic scene. Of course this view of male androgyny is limited and one-sided as it only focuses on the micropolitical level of subcultural norms or values, without taking full account of the disruptive potential which male androgyny may hold in relation to the macrostructures of power at work in society at large. We have to remember that our culture still censures androgyny in male style i

Gender Relations

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

While issues of style feature prominently in subcultural studies, the question of male–female relations has been sidelined by much research into subcultures and gender. Without doubt, flamboyant styles form an important facet of conspicuous subcultures in terms of gendered self-expression and deserve in-depth analysis. However, such an analysis should be coupled with an examination of actual heterosexual relations as ‘the primary site where gender difference is re-produced’ (Hollway, 2001, p. 272

Queer Sexualities

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

In the discursive structure of our culture, the concepts of gender and sexuality are closely linked and intertwined. Judith Butler’s (1990) notion of the heterosexual matrix with its dictate of heterosexual romance as the main sustainer of binary gender difference illustrates how ‘the discourses of gender and sexuality are entangled and mutually sustaining/informing’ (Gutterman, 2001, p. 62). Consequently, a discussion of sexualities in the Gothic subculture is a vital part of a thorough analysis

Goth Music and Media

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

As a music-based subculture, Goth and its gendered meanings call for an analysis of how gender is represented in Gothic music and the subcultural music press. However, there is a crucial difference between the self-representations of individual Goths in interviews or Internet forums, on the one hand, and the mediated, formally published sonic, textual and visual representations in Goth music and media, on the other hand. There exist different cultural fields in or through which the Gothic subcult

The Death of Utopia

Dunja Brill

Source: Goth Culture. Gender, Sexuality and Style 2008

Book chapter

Having traced the construction of gender in Goth across various subcultural practices and representations, in fact it seems slightly off the point to pronounce a clear-cut judgement on the subversive or reactionary nature of Goth gender politics. We have seen, for example, that Gothic male androgyny can function to accrue subcultural capital, and to affirm traditional masculine status criteria like courage and transgression. Yet we have also learned that the androgynous style of Goth men can work

Roots: Hair and Race

Sarah Cheang

Source: Hair. Styling, Culture and Fashion 2008

Book chapter

Human beings are a single species who share ninety per cent of their DNA, and rarely live in isolated, ‘pure-bred’ societies (American Anthropological Association (AAA) 1998; Cole 1965: 27). Physical diversity within ‘racial’ groups is much wider than the differences between the ‘races’, and there is no link between variations in anatomy, physiognomy or colouring, and qualities such as ‘intelligence’ or ‘natural aptitude’. For a human group to qualify as a ‘race’, seventy-five per cent of its ind

Living the Dancesport Life

Jonathan S. Marion

Source: Ballroom. Culture and Costume in Competitive Dance 2008

Book chapter

Part I of this book set the stage for the materials that followed, defining and laying out the structure of competitive ballroom dance in Chapter 1, providing a brief history in Chapter 2 and explaining the judging that is at the heart of ballroom competition in Chapter 3. What I want to make clear in this final chapter is that while useful as analytical orientations and frames, the materials in this book should not be mistaken for the lived experiences of ballroom competitors and others in the d

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