The Empire of Fashion
Dressing Modern Democracy
By (author) Gilles Lipovetsky
Foreword by Richard Sennett
Translated by Catherine Porter
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Empire of Fashion by Gilles Lipovetsky
Book DescriptionIn a book full of playful irony and striking insights, the controversial social philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky draws on the history of fashion to demonstrate that the modern cult of appearance and superficiality actually serves the common good. Focusing on clothing, bodily deportment, sex roles, sexual practices, and political rhetoric as forms of "fashion," Lipovetsky bounds across two thousand years of history, showing how the evolution of fashion from an upper-class privilege into a vehicle of popular expression closely follows the rise of democratic values. Whereas Tocqueville feared that mass culture would create passive citizens incapable of political reasoning, Lipovetsky argues that today's mass-produced fashion offers many choices, which in turn enable consumers to become complex individuals within a consolidated, democratically educated society. Superficiality fosters tolerance among different groups within a society, claims Lipovetsky. To analyze fashion's role in smoothing over social conflict, he abandons class analysis in favor of an inquiry into the symbolism of everyday life and the creation of ephemeral desire. Lipovetsky examines the malaise experienced by people who, because they can fulfill so many desires, lose their sense of identity. His conclusions raise disturbing questions about personal joy and anguish in modern democracy.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691102627
(229mm x 152mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Gilles Lipovetsky
Hypermodern Times, Hardback (March 2005)» View all books by Gilles Lipovetsky
The term a postmodernitya has been used to describe that historical transformation of the late 20th century when the institutional breaks holding back individual emancipation disintegrated, thereby giving rise to the full expression of individual desires and the quest for self--fulfilment.
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Author Biography - Gilles Lipovetsky
Gilles Lipovetsky teaches philosophy in Grenoble. He is the author of "L'Ere du vide" and "Le Crepuscule du devoir," both published by Gallimard.
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