Sunday, January 10, 2010

Compact Challenge and Blog Week 1

As I write this entry I find myself online shopping. This challenge is going to be a tough cookie. For the most part, I identify myself as a sneakerhead. I am constantly reading up on the latest releases, supposed rumors, and price checks. Needless to say, most of the money I make from my job goes into my very expensive habit. In a given quarter, my sneaker transactions easily total a few thousand. I use the word "transactions" because few people really understand the complexities of sneaker collecting. My "transactions" include everything from the actual price of the shoe, the loss or gain in worth through trades, to simple shipping costs. Sneaker collecting is very costly. I feel that this challenge will be especially hard for me. However, this is a challenge I am more than willing to take up. I always find myself scraping to make ends meet toward the end of the quarter because of my expensive habit. I, then, whole heartedly pledge to myself to stop buying shoes. This usually lasts for a few weeks and then I tend to relapse back into sneaker watching. Hopefully, this will be the thing to snap me out of my bad habits. It is embarrassing to say but I immediately began looking for loopholes to this challenge. I found a huge one. Sneaker collecting does not always involve buying brand new shoes. More often than not, sneakerheads such as myself will purchase used shoes because they are generally cheaper than their completely brand new counterparts. Thus, I will slightly alter the rules for this challenge for myself and attempt to refrain from purchasing used sneakers as well.

Fashion as a concept, has developed into something much more complex than clothing brands. It was my assumption that the term fashion only encompasses things such as clothing, and how people dress. Instead, it is much more multi-facted than I had previously believed. Fashion-ology, as defined by Kawamura, "is the sociological investigation of fashion, and it treats fashion as a system of institutions that produces the concept as well as the phenomenon/practice of fashion" (Kawamura 1). The author then makes a correlation between fashion-ology, and sociological study of art and its impact on the culture of a defined group of people.

An interesting argument presented in the Kawamura reading is that people purchase clothing believing that they are wearing more than simple articles of cloth. Instead, they attempt to buy fashion. This argument lends to the idea that fashion is not simply what you wear. It is, instead a more complex concept.

This argument is also reflective of the U.S.'s growing social cleavages. The Dictionary of Sociology's definition of social cleavages presents the notion that social divide in any state usually stems from the consumption habits of its citizens. Because the U.S. is in large a consumer culture, I believe that throughout this course, we will begin to see how social divisions are based off consumer activities. In large part, the consumption of fashion should play an interesting role.


Citation: Kawamura, Yuniya. "Fashion-ology: An Introduction to Fashion Studies." New York: Berg, 2005.

Dictionary of Sociology. Penguin Preference

Christopher Quach
Post #1

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