two poles of fashion

There are two poles of fashion that operate along a class-based axis. There are other poles determined by various other differentiations, but they are all rather similar. I am using class in the post-Marxist sense of referring to relations of exchange (and not the Marxist sense of a relation to the means of production).

The classic conception of fashion is of a trickle-down process, ala Simmel. The lower classes seek to emulate the those above them. As John Storey puts it, the superordinate group is then forced to seek new fashion in order to maintain its social difference. Thus producing a fashion cycle, etc.

Fortunati (in “Mobile Phones and Fashion in Post-Modernity”) offers a slightly more complex model whereby fashion ceases to be an elite activity and is more about the socio-cultural massification of something as it becomes popular amongst the middle-class. Fashion emerges from ‘early adopters’ or the ‘street’ and becomes ‘fashionable’ precisely at the point that it is popular. The cyclical character is not effected by the pursuit of distinction-type activity, but the exhaustion of interest. Fashion inevitably tends towards boring. This is an immanent fashion.

OMG, BSG! WTF!?!

Yeah… those pesky writers’ strikes… In the future can all consumers of popular culture agree that we demand that all shows cease and absolutely under no circumstances attempt to duct tape a rushed plot together to satisfy the demands of their capitalist overlords. I mean, seriously… ffs…

The end of Battlestar Galactica is both sad and exciting.

Flashbacks

In marking hell at the moment. Just had my first fail followed by a brilliant essay that I gave 95%. Crazy.

Yesterday I had to submit a course reader for the postgrad course I am teaching over winter school. These courses are extremely intense for both students and course conveners. Should be a bit of fun. Over the past few weeks I have been rewatching all the relevant films I shall be discussing in the course (A Clockwork Orange, Mean Girls, Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, etc) and reading various novels (Coupland, Salinger, etc). Plus I have been hunting for examples in the popular press and media (Corey Worthington, etc).

Lastly, I am behind on a book chapter I am co-authoring on ‘granular synthesis’.

I haven’t had to accelerate up to attack speed since I finished the dissertation. This weekend is a bit like a surreal flashback to the ultra-work of dissertation completion. Surreal in the sense that there is lots and lots of work but without the satisfaction of getting things like arguments and explanations right. Marking is not interesting work; it is the intellectual equivalent of labouring versus artisan craft.

I have about 250 students in total across three units, so I have a lot of marking to do. I need to find ways to make this interesting. Working at Gleebooks provides some relief. I did note however, that someone I work with looks like Alex’s mother (from A Clockwork Orange). The person I know is very pretty, so it is not some comment on her looks; rather, she dresses following a very similar style. I think this is awesome!

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