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Perpetuum mobile

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In the deregulated, privatized society of consumers, fashion is a perpetuum mobile a self-feeding, self-sustaining, self-propelling and self-invigorating process. This is due to the interaction of two socially prompted urges: the longing to be a part of a greater whole, and the urge for individualism/uniqueness in their turn the effects of the dialectics of security and freedom. Fashion casts lifestyles in the mode of a permanent and principally un-finishable revolution. It plays a crucial operating role in rendering constant change to the norms of our being-in-the-world: if you do not wish to sink, keep surfing; obviously, you can no longer seriously hope to make the world a better place to live; but you cannot even make that agreeable place in the social world which you might have managed to cut out for yourself really secure.

Keywords: Simmel; fashion; freedom; progress; security; utopia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Leeds.

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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