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The empire of fashion : dressing modern democracy / Gilles Lipovetsky ; translated by Catherine Porter ; with a foreword by Richard Sennett.

By: Material type: TextTextLanguage: English Original language: French Series: New French thoughtPublication details: Princeton, N.J : Princeton University Press, c1994.ISBN:
  • 0691033730 (alk. paper)
Uniform titles:
  • Empire de l'éphémère. English
Subject(s): DDC classification:
  • 391/.009/04 20
LOC classification:
  • GT596 .L5713 1994
Contents:
Foreword / Richard Sennet -- Pt. 1. The Enchantment of Appearances. Ch. I. Fashion and the West: The Aristocratic Moment. Ch. II. A Century of Fashion. Ch. III. Open Fashion -- Pt. 2. Consummate Fashion. Ch. IV. The Seduction of Things. Ch. V. Advertising on the Offensive. Ch. VI. Culture, Media Style. Ch. VII. Meaning Carries On. Ch. VIII. The Progressive Shifting of the Social.
Summary: In a book full of playful irony and striking insights, the controversial social philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky draws on the history of fashion to demonstrate that the modern cult of appearance and superficiality actually serves the common good. Focusing on clothing, bodily deportment, sex roles, sexual practices, and political rhetoric as forms of "fashion," Lipovetsky bounds across two thousand years of history, showing how the evolution of fashion from an upper-class privilege into a vehicle of popular expression closely follows the rise of democratic values. Whereas Tocqueville feared that mass culture would create passive citizens incapable of political reasoning, Lipovetsky argues that today's mass-produced fashion offers many choices, which in turn enable consumers to become complex individuals within a consolidated, democratically educated society. Superficiality fosters tolerance among different groups within a society, claims Lipovetsky. To analyze fashion's role in smoothing over social conflict, he abandons class analysis in favor of an inquiry into the symbolism of everyday life and the creation of ephemeral desire. Lipovetsky examines the malaise experienced by people who, because they can fulfill so many desires, lose their sense of identity. His conclusions raise disturbing questions about personal joy and anguish in modern democracy.
Holdings
Item type Home library Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Two Week Loan Two Week Loan College Lane Learning Resources Centre Main Shelves 746.92 LIP (Browse shelf(Opens below)) Available 4400614244
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [265]-270) and index.

Foreword / Richard Sennet -- Pt. 1. The Enchantment of Appearances. Ch. I. Fashion and the West: The Aristocratic Moment. Ch. II. A Century of Fashion. Ch. III. Open Fashion -- Pt. 2. Consummate Fashion. Ch. IV. The Seduction of Things. Ch. V. Advertising on the Offensive. Ch. VI. Culture, Media Style. Ch. VII. Meaning Carries On. Ch. VIII. The Progressive Shifting of the Social.

In a book full of playful irony and striking insights, the controversial social philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky draws on the history of fashion to demonstrate that the modern cult of appearance and superficiality actually serves the common good. Focusing on clothing, bodily deportment, sex roles, sexual practices, and political rhetoric as forms of "fashion," Lipovetsky bounds across two thousand years of history, showing how the evolution of fashion from an upper-class privilege into a vehicle of popular expression closely follows the rise of democratic values. Whereas Tocqueville feared that mass culture would create passive citizens incapable of political reasoning, Lipovetsky argues that today's mass-produced fashion offers many choices, which in turn enable consumers to become complex individuals within a consolidated, democratically educated society. Superficiality fosters tolerance among different groups within a society, claims Lipovetsky. To analyze fashion's role in smoothing over social conflict, he abandons class analysis in favor of an inquiry into the symbolism of everyday life and the creation of ephemeral desire. Lipovetsky examines the malaise experienced by people who, because they can fulfill so many desires, lose their sense of identity. His conclusions raise disturbing questions about personal joy and anguish in modern democracy.