Bridgwood, Ann. 1995. “Dancing the Jar: Girls’ Dress at Turkish Cypriot Weddings.”

Bridgwood, Ann. 1995. “Dancing the Jar: Girls’ Dress at Turkish Cypriot Weddings.” Pp. 29-52 in Dress and Ethnicity: Change Across Space and Time, edited by Joanne B. Eicher. Washington D.C.: Berg.

Dress as receiving attention from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, psychoanalysis, semiotics, feminism, anthropology, and so forth (Wilson 1985).

Barthes (1972): fashion as system of signs, which are arbitrary and meaningless unless place in relation to another sign.

Hebdige (1979): fashion as having meaning outside of enclosed sign system, and are representative (homologous) with aspects of the subculture in which they are used – activities, concerns, group structure, collective/public image of members. Dress reflects the values of those who adopt it – can reflect ethnic belonging/pride or challenges to domination/hegemony.

Chapkis (1988): Women’s bodies as “repositories for ‘tradition’; when ‘traditional’ dress is worn by women, it can be seen as an attempt to preserve or recreate a real or imagined past” (here 30) – potentially acting as symbols of resisting imperialist advance, “modernization/Westernization.”

Coward (1983): women’s bodies and meanings/uses attached to dress translate social and personal characteristics of sexuality.

“A woman’s dress is often decoded as an indicator of her sexual respectability; women are compelled to make themselves attractive in ways which involve submitting to cultural beliefs about appropriate sexual behavior and ways of dress” (43). — sometimes used to challenge ethnic notions of chaste femininity and to articulate personal agency, despite demands to maintain ethnic belonging (through performances of ideal femininity).

“Dress is never value-free; there is no style which does not carry some connotation of, for examples, imperialism, oppression or liberation” (48).


Barthes, R. 1972. Mythologies. London: Jonathan Cape.

Chapkis, W. 1988. Beauty Secrets: Women and the Politics of Appearance. London: Women’s Press.

Coward, R. 1983. Female Desire: Women’s Sexuality Today. London: Paladin.

Hebdige, D. 1979. Subculture: The Meaning of Style. London: Methuen.

Wilson, E. 1985. Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity. London: Virago.


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