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Learning punk through its products: Combining fashion merchandising practices and pedagogy to develop a subculture of resistance

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Punk is a lifestyle, ethos and perspective that deals with social unrest and personal discontent. Learning models are applied as framework in this research to contemplate how punk is learned and enacted as a lifestyle by going through daily fashion merchandising and social practices, such as how punks engage with artefacts and the rules of their scene. The punk subculture uses a pedagogy to their fashion production and consumption, employing the garments of their sartorial style with community interactions to create and symbolize their ethos. The community interacts in unision as newcomers to the scene learn from established participants, take in the knowledge available to them, and shift to self-produced ideas to develop their individualized punk ethos. This study used qualitative online surveys, in-person interviews and social media discussions from self-identified punks in the United States and Canada, as well as archival visits to punk-themed collections in order to analyse the experience of individuals who produce, consume and communicate their punk ethos through their garments.
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Keywords: fashion; identity; learning; merchandising; punk; subculture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 000000041936738XUniversity of Georgia

Publication date: June 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • We all wear clothes. We are all therefore invested at some level in the production and consumption of clothing. This journal intends to embrace issues and themes that are both universal and personal, addressing [and dressing] us all. Increasingly, as we all become accomplished semioticians, clothing becomes the key signifier in determining social interaction and behaviour, and sartorial norms dictate socio-cultural appropriateness. Following the rise of fashion theory, on an everyday level, we all understand that our clothes 'say' something about us, about our times, nation, system of values. Yet clothing is not fashion; clothing is a term derivative from 'cloth', to cover the body, whereas fashion alludes to the glamorous, the ephemeral and the avant garde. We wear clothes, but imagine fashion-an unattainable ideal.
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