MAS 963: Techno-identity seminar

cultural identity part 2: fashions in clothing, music and links



This week we are thinking about how fashion is used to communicate identity. The fashion can be in any media - clothing can be a social medium, as can music, automobiles, home furnishings, or, in the online world, links.

Please read the selected chapter. As you do so, think about these questions: how do these media (i.e. clothes, cars, links, etc) acquire social meaning?  How do these meanings change? Why do they change? Can you map out a relationship between differentiation and imitation as forces of cultural change? Can you distinguish between the inherent or symbolic meaning of an object and its social/fashion-based meaning? What is the impact of the affordances of a medium (say, clothing vs. links vs. music) on its dissemination? What is the role of the media?

In your writing, discuss examples from both the physical world and the online world. Is there "fashion" online?  How is it manifest?  What do you think the future will hold? 

Please submit your essay by Sunday morning, and spend some time before class reading over the other essays.