Fashion Business – Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies

 

‘Fashion is a practice that individuals use to express identity’ (Fashion Business – Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies)
This unit introduces the Cultural and Historical Studies approach to fashion and related areas. The unit provides a broad overview of the subject and introduces key concepts and ways of thinking that will form the basis of subsequent study. It will also inform decisions regarding the Cultural and Historical Studies unit that is chosen for future study.

Discuss this statement with reference to specific examples.

Your answer should include:
►Reference to key themes, debates and concepts covered in the unit
►Referenced quotations (using Harvard referencing) from at least four academic texts – at least 
two of which should be from the unit Reader – to support your argument
►A critical analysis of examples relevant to your degree subject
►The conventions of academic writing

LEARNING OUTCOMES & MARKING CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT
Upon successful completion of this unit you will be able to demonstrate:
1. an awareness of Cultural and Historical Studies as an academic discipline and its
relationship with debates concerning fashion and beauty (subject knowledge);
2. an engagement with, and understanding of, relevant academic literature (research);
3. critical and analytical skills (analysis);
4. the ability to communicate effectively in an academic style (communication and presentation).

RESEARCH Essential Reading
Week 1. What is Cultural Studies and why are we studying it? Key texts
►Barnard, M. (2014) Fashion Theory: An Introduction. London: Routledge
Very useful introduction to understanding fashion, introduces many of the key issues that are central to this unit
►Bennett, A. (2005) ‘Fashion’, in, Culture and Everyday Life London: Sage.
Short, accessible discussion of the relationship between fashion and social identity, invaluable reading for the essay.
►Kaiser, S. B. (2012) Fashion and Cultural Studies. Oxford: Berg.
Very useful introduction to understanding Cultural Studies approaches to fashion, introduces many of the key issues that are central to this unit.
Week 2. The Fashioned body / the silhouette Key Texts
►Entwistle, J. (2015) ‘Fashion and Gender’, in The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern Social Theory (2nd Edition) Cambridge: Polity.
Very useful overview of debates around fashion and gender.
Week 3: Masculinities Key Texts
►Entwistle, J. (2015) ‘Fashion and Gender’, in The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern Social Theory (2nd Edition) Cambridge: Polity.
Very useful overview of debates around fashion and gender.
Week 4: Subculture / gender / sexuality Key Texts
►Kaiser, S. (2012) ‘Sexuality and Style-Fashion-Dress’ in Fashion and Cultural Studies London: Bloomsbury
Invaluable unpicking of the ‘knot of sex, gender, and sexuality’ in relationship to style-fashion-dress.
Week 5: Globalisation / nation / ethnicity
Key Texts
►Maynard, M. (2004) ‘Theorising Global Dress’, in Dress and Globalisation Manchester University Press.
Invaluable and accessible overview of fashion and globalisation.

Week 6: Representation / media / audiences Key Texts
►Barker, C (2004) ‘Representation’ in, The Sage Dictionary of Cultural Studies. London: Sage Excellent short discussion of representation.
►Richardson, N. (2010) ‘Representation’, in Transgressive Bodies: Representation in Film and Popular Culture. Farnham: Ashgate
Excellent short discussion of representation.
►Sturken, M. and L. Cartwright, (2001) ‘Spectatorship, Power and Knowledge’, in Practices of Looking: an Introduction to Visual Culture Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Excellent, sophisticated and wide ranging discussion of spectatorship.
Week 7: Consumption / Class Key Texts
►Bennett, A. (2005) ‘Fashion’, in, Culture and Everyday Life London: Sage.
Short, accessible discussion of the relationship between fashion and social identity, invaluable reading for the essay.
Week 8: Diffusion Key Texts
►Braham, P. (1997) ‘Fashion: unpacking a cultural production’ in du Gay, P. ed. Production of Culture/Cultures of Production London: Sage.
Invaluable study of the production and consumption of clothing commodities.
Week 9: Producing Fashion Key Texts
►Edwards, T. (2011) ‘From rags to riches: fashion production’ in, Edwards, T. Fashion in Focus: Concepts, Practices and Politics. London: Routledge.
Useful overview of debates around fashion production.
Week 10: Postmodernism Key Texts
►Kratz, C. and Reimer, B. (1998) ‘Fashion in the Face of Postmodernity’ in A. A. Berger (ed.) The Postmodern Presence: Readings on Postmodernism in American Culture and Society Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
Useful and accessible introduction to the manner in which postmodernism has impacted on fashion and the role that fashion plays in our lives

 

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS