Hamilton, J.A. and J.W. Hamilton. 1989. “Dress as Reflection and Sustainer of Social Reality: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.”

Hamilton, Jean A. and James W. Hamilton. 1989. “Dress as a Reflection and Sustainer of Social Reality: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.” Clothing and Textile Research Journal 7(2): 16-22.

[…] “dress may serve as a symbolic metaphor of the relationship of the individual to the cultural system. As such, dress can be an extremely powerful way of expressing and reinforcing subtle values, relationships, and meanings in human culture. Dress can contribute to the maintenance of cultural continuity by interaction with ritual to cause individuals to want to act as they must act in order to preserve their own cultural system” (PAGE, here 115-116).

Roach and Musa (1980): dress as “the total arrangement of outwardly detectable modifications of a person’s body and all material objects added to it” (68, CITE PAGE, here 116) — infers dress as a noun, as a foreground to a overshadowed body. However, “Dress is also an act, a verb, and the act of dressing, of willfully behaving to achieve the state of being dressed, is a uniquely human behavior that no other higher primates exhibit” (PAGE, here 116) — additionally, humans expand the capacities of dress by offering it symbolic meaning and value.

Dress, within this case study, aids to socialize, indicate, and marker life course transitions. The adoption of certain clothing is met with the adoption of certain roles, expectations, and behaviors.  In ways, dress serves to reinforce the kinship, economic, and political forces that sustain specific cultures.

CITES:

Roach, M.E. and K.E. Musa. 1980. New Perspectives on the History of Western Dress. New York: Nutri-Guides.

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