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Publics of Dress: Rethinking Representations and Expressions of Women through Fashion in an Urbanizing Neighborhood in Nepal

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Item Summary

Title:Publics of Dress: Rethinking Representations and Expressions of Women through Fashion in an Urbanizing Neighborhood in Nepal
Authors:Green, Sadie
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Date Issued:May 2015
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2015]
Abstract:Women’s clothing is an integral, yet under-theorized part of everyday life bound up with body image, sexuality, and gender, and rooted in struggles for power and privilege. This thesis presents an interpretive ethnographic and historical analysis of women’s fashion in Nepal, the Kathmandu Valley and the rapidly urbanizing neighborhood of Gatthaghar in order to highlight the layered meanings of dress for women, existing local and global socio-economic and political hierarchies and their larger historical and cultural contexts. Based on fieldwork conducted in 2014 and through the tangible medium of dress, this research traces shifts in conventions and materiality and salient intersections between clothes, subjectivities, and physical and ideological constructs since the late 18th century. I found that women in Gatthaghar utilize the media of dress in the co-production of specific, sartorially defined and culturally agentive publics, which I refer to as publics of dress. Such publics of dress in Gatthaghar today include those of high-caste, middle-class, married Hindu women who wear kurta suruwal, and globally-inspired, formally educated and consumer culture driven youth who wear “short clothes.” I argue that these publics are imagined, performed and mediated around clothing as material, discourse and culture-in-practice and that they affect bodies, communities and society at large.
Description:M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Asian Studies

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