Russian immigrant women and the negotiation of social class and feminine identity through fashion
Abstract:Building on the growing body of literature that examines the consumption of fashion and the construction of identity through clothing, this article uses data from in-depth interviews with ten women aged 52 to 75 to examine Russian immigrant women's experiences of fashion. Specifically, we explore the ways in which Russian immigrant women's clothing choices and attitudes towards fashion are framed by their socialization within Russian cultural values (which privilege feminine appearance), their assimilation into Canadian culture, their resistance to Canadian views of beauty and femininity, and their feelings about their aging bodies. Our findings reveal that Russian immigrant women's doing of gender, age, social class, and immigrant status are shaped by culturally and historically situated conceptions of femininity as well as by decisions to either assimilate into North American culture or to other the self as distinctively Russian.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: The University of British Columbia.
Publication date: 2010-12-01
Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty is the first journal dedicated to the critical examination of the fashion and the beauty systems as symbolic spaces of production and reproduction, representation and communication of artifacts, meanings, social practices, and visual or textual renditions of cloth, clothing and appearance.
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