Who Says what-to-wear? Examining Tensions between Conformity and Individuality

Luxury Fashion and Culture

ISBN: 978-1-78190-210-3, eISBN: 978-1-78190-211-0

ISSN: 1871-3173

Publication date: 26 February 2013


This study explores how young, adult millennials address a series of tensions between autonomy and conformity issues in different situations. The main finding is how consumers negotiate to release tension by combining and adapting culturally established fashion discourses to achieve their objective at a satisfactory level. The research describes six photos of three participant-observers in “dress-down” and “dress-up” occasions. The study applies a confirmatory personal introspection (CPI) method (including visual auto-driving and member checks) to analyze fashion discourses. The main findings include tension descriptions when the hegemonic look is not the one that the consumer expected according to the situation. Through this tension consumers choose between conformity and autonomy. Consumers often express resistance to dominant fashion norms and negotiate key existential tensions. The study contributes to (McCracken, G. (2008). Transformations. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.) post-modern transformation proposals and builds from Goffman's (1959) presentation of self in everyday life – the self is indeed porous and encourages excursions in and out as McCracken (2008) suggests.



Song, S., Lee, H. and Kim, K. (2013), "Who Says what-to-wear? Examining Tensions between Conformity and Individuality", Ko, E. and Woodside, A. (Ed.) Luxury Fashion and Culture (Advances in Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 101-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1871-3173(2013)0000007009

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