FMAD 3230 Appearance, Dress, and Diversity Textbook
An interdisciplinary course that examines appearance and dressing practices in relation to ethnicity, gender, age, body shape, disability, and class. An introduction to fashion and dress-related theories, culture and identity concepts, and social justice
This interdisciplinary course examines appearance and dressing practices in relation to ethnicity, gender, age, body shape, disability, and class. It introduces fashion and dress-related theories, culture and identity concepts, and social justice concepts related to dress, appearance, and the fashion industry.
In this course, students are introduced to topics about identity, dress, and the body. We explore how individuals and communities use dress to communicate (i.e., “negotiate,” in fashion studies) their various identities. There is heightened attention to social justice, power, privilege, and oppression. That is, we focus on the experiences of historically marginalized communities and the ways they navigate dress and dressing their bodies in different contexts.
Increased awareness of appearances and fashions of individuals historically experiencing oppression and marginalization can aid in developing a more socially just environment and reject past perpetuations of white supremacy, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, and xenophobia. As students enter the workforce with a social justice background, they will better understand and work with others who are different from them. Additionally, a better understanding of diverse consumers could help provide these consumers with the products they desire and avoid public diversity issues that are far too common in the fashion industry.
Content and Course Objectives
The book contains two distinct parts.
Part 1: Dress Theories and Concepts introduces readers to concepts and theories related to fashion, clothing, dress, and/or accessories.
Part 2: Dress and Marginalized Communities asks readers to examine the role fashion, clothing, dress, and/or accessories play in identity development for individuals in marginalized communities in the United States.
Course Student Learning Objectives
Define the role of dress and appearance in the development and understanding of the self and others.
Describe and explain foundational concepts and theories related to dress, identity, fashion, and culture and how they intersect with sex, gender, sexuality, attractiveness, disability, religion, race, and ethnicity.
Analyze the experiences and the role of fashion, clothing, dress, and/or accessories for identity development.
Critique social justice issues within the fashion industry.