Stone, Gregory P. and William H. Form. 1957. The Local Community Clothing Market.

Stone, Gregory Prentice and William H. Form. 1957. The Local Community Clothing Market: A Study of the Social and Social Psychological Contexts of Shopping. Technical Bulletin 262 (November).  East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University.

Study on economic aspects of shopping and composition of wardrobes – factors that influence behaviors of homemakers while shopping for clothes. Interviews with homemakers on:

1) importance/effect of shopper’s clothes on shopping situation – the more wealthy homemakers were, the more likely they would dress up for shopping; however, bounded by “over/under”-dressing in relation to class status

2) relation of shopping trip to other homemaking activities – budgeting for clothing reflected a perceived limitation of time for shopping, compared to those who did not – selecting clothing for comfort or ease of cleaning, for example – and, as wealthier interviewees made special trips for clothes-shopping, rather than lower-class interviewees who combined these trips with other chore outings.

3) social attributes of shoppers’ companions – shopping enhances social status and self-esteem – group shopping dependent upon age, children, and community involvement

4) nature of customer-clerk relations – believed better dressing would reflect in better customer-clerk treatment – higher socioeconomic status customers demanded more clerk attention, which facilitated longitudinal customer-clerk relations.

and, 5) challenges faced in typical shopping scenarios.

 

“Visible objects and gestures provide cues in defining situations, and clothing is one of the most crucial of these cues. Thus, for example, every change in a significant life situation – birth, entering school, graduation from school, getting a job, marriage, birth, parenthood, and even death – requires a change of wardrobe. Even in the course of daily life, situation after situation requires a change of dress to facilitate and symbolize the situational changes.

A change of dress indicates to others that a person’s situation has changed, thereby assisting everyone (including the person) in defining the new situation” (8)

{…] the symbolic value of clothing (the importance it has for defining situations) is heightened in the city where social relationships are anonymous in character, requiring them to be defined largely upon the basis of the appearance of the participants, rather than upon their personal knowledge of one another” (14) — kx^ – does the anonymity of the festival replicate these conditions and demands?

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