Doing Age and Gender through Fashion

Barbro Johansson
Center for Consumer Science, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Sweden

Ladda ner artikelhttp://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=025;article=029

Ingår i: Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11-13 June 2007

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 25:29, s. 283-290

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Publicerad: 2007-11-27


ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


The author discusses the intersectionality of age and gender in relation to consumption and the concept of “becoming”; taking her point of departure in some quotations from children. The data comes from a study about children in consumer society; where 84 Swedish children; aged 8-12 were interviewed. Gender and age are negotiated; translated and repeated and therefore the subject of constant change. A task for the children is to place themselves in an aged and gendered field; find places which they are comfortable with; and at the same time be aware of that they are expected to occupy new places and find new ways of performing themselves as they grow older. The article shows a sample card of different solutions: Performing a consistent 11-year-ness; by refraining to wear garments which carry inscriptions of adulthood and sexuality; creating a fashion-conscious masculinity with the help of clothes; hair products; friends and a fashion retailer; redefining a garment from female to gender-neutral; creating an aged and gendered “free zone”; where girlishness is an allowing and non-restrained place; making clothes almost invisible uniforms; rejecting fashion all together; and constructing homosocial togetherness with the help of fashion and symbols of adulthood and sexuality.


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