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Fashion and Its Social Agendas

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Diana Crane in her book “ Fashion and its social agendas” demonstrates how the social significance has been transformed in case of clothing. She compares nineteenth-century societies of the United States and France with the twentieth century America. In the nineteenth century, social class was very noticeable feature of social identity which was very much relevant to clothing; while in the twentieth century America individuals focused on constructing their wardrobes by considering various things like gender, lifestyle, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and age. According to Diana Crane, clothes worn at work indicate social class, though many people may not agree in this fact.

She also states that leisure clothes convey different meanings ranging from political to trite. In the multicode societies of today, clothes facilitate as well as hinder communications between highly fragmented societies. Crane extends her comparison by showing how nineteenth-century French designers created fashions that not only suited lifestyles of Paris elites but were also widely adopted by the people outside the France. By contrast, today's designers operate in a global marketplace, shaped by television, film, and popular music.

They are no longer only confined to elites and the trendsetters are drawn from many social groups and most of the trends have short trajectories. To assess the impact of fashion on women, Crane uses voices of college-aged and middle-aged women who took part in focus groups. These discussions yield fascinating information about women's perceptions of female identity and sexuality in the fashion industry. (Crane 2000) Role of arts in consumers’ lives: Many scholars hold the view that the purpose of art is to bring emotional enjoyment and feelings of pleasure to people's lives.

Recent consumer studies consider arts consumption (and in many cases address arts production issues as well) in this light. In the field of aesthetics, expression theory comes closest to acknowledging emotions and feelings as the basis of aesthetic experience.

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