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9780745631868

Clothing

Hardback By Robert Ross
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Product Description

In virtually all the countries of the world, men, and to a lesser extent women, are today dressed in very similar clothing. This book gives a compelling account and analysis of the process by which this has come about. At the same time it takes seriously those places where, for whatever reason, this process has not occurred, or has been reversed, and provides explanations for these developments. The first part of this story recounts how the cultural, political and economic power of Europe and, from the later nineteenth century North America, has provided an impetus for the adoption of whatever was at that time standard Western dress. Set against this, Robert Ross shows how the adoption of European style dress, or its rejection, has always been a political act, performed most frequently in order to claim equality with colonial masters, more often a male option, or to stress distinction from them, which women, perhaps under male duress, more frequently did. The book takes a refreshing global perspective to its subject, with all continents and many countries being discussed. It investigates not merely the symbolic and message-bearing aspects of clothing, but also practical matters of production and, equally importantly, distribution.

Product Details

Format: Hardback, 232 pages Language: English
Dimension: 23.37cm x 16cm x 2.18cm ISBN10: 074563186X
Weight: 454g ISBN13: 9780745631868
Publication Date: 05 Sep 2008 Publisher: Polity Press

About Author

Robert Ross is Professor of African History at the University of Leiden.

Product Reviews

Review

"A short book, and an easy read that adds a fresh perspective to studies of global history, colonialism, economic development, military history, and the history of costume." Journal of Interdisciplinary History "No longer viewed as inconsequential, clothing has much to tell historians. Clothing fits very neatly within this new historiography." Journal of Social History"A model work of synthesis - lucid, lively, accessible, globally informed, stuffed with rich and fascinating examples, making good use of theory and comparison, and approaching its topic from economic, political, social and cultural points of view." Peter Burke, University of Cambridge"Robert Ross admirably weaves the history of dress into the broader contours of modernization and the rise and fall of western imperialism. Clothing offers the reader insights into the power of bodily adornment, both as a tool of western hegemony, and as a potential symbolic medium for nationalist aspirations of the colonized." John Mackey, Birmingham University

From the Inside Flap

In virtually all the countries of the world, men, and to a lesser extent women, are today dressed in very similar clothing. This book gives a compelling account and analysis of the process by which this has come about. At the same time it takes seriously those places where, for whatever reason, this process has not occurred, or has been reversed, and provides explanations for these developments. The first part of this story recounts how the cultural, political and economic power of Europe and, from the later nineteenth century North America, has provided an impetus for the adoption of whatever was at that time standard Western dress. Set against this, Robert Ross shows how the adoption of European style dress, or its rejection, has always been a political act, performed most frequently in order to claim equality with colonial masters, more often a male option, or to stress distinction from them, which women, perhaps under male duress, more frequently did. The book takes a refreshing global perspective to its subject, with all continents and many countries being discussed. It investigates not merely the symbolic and message-bearing aspects of clothing, but also practical matters of production and, equally importantly, distribution.

From the Back Cover

In virtually all the countries of the world, men, and to a lesser extent women, are today dressed in very similar clothing. This book gives a compelling account and analysis of the process by which this has come about. At the same time it takes seriously those places where, for whatever reason, this process has not occurred, or has been reversed, and provides explanatio

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