Cultural Observation of Dress Case Study

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Subject: Anthropology
  • Type: Case Study
  • Paper: #383010

Excerpt from Case Study :

Cultural Observation of Dress

Why do all humans engage in the act of dressing the body? Consider how dress relates to both the physical and the social needs of the wearer.

Everyone dresses according to social factors and to make themselves more physically appealing to other. This helps them to be seen as hip and enhance their appearance. These variables ensure that the social and individual needs of the person are met. This is when they will have greater amounts of self-confidence. (Eicher, 2008)

If all humans dress themselves for the same basic reasons, why do we look so different from each other? Consider the influences of culture, age, gender, and other factors that distinguish people from one another.

People look different based upon their cultural background, age and gender. These elements are combined together to provide the person with a unique sense of style. This is used to make everyone different from one another based upon the combination of them and how they relate to the person. (Eicher, 2008)

In what ways is your own body an example of the material culture of the society to which you belong? How does this relate to the idea of what is natural to the body?

The body is example of the social factors and traditions of the culture someone is from. This is based upon historical norms and attitudes about the person. The way that this relates to what is natural to the body is in the way it is worn and what parts of the body are exposed. (Eicher, 2008)

What is the difference between ascribed and achieved status? Find examples of dress that communicate each.

Ascribed status is when a person is trying to have a particular look and feel. Achieved status is the point someone has reached the objectives they are ascribing to. An example of this can be seen with someone who is dressing in gothic style. They want to show that they are rebellious and open minded. This is achieved by people in society looking at them differently and more anti-establishment. (Eicher, 2008)

Following the definitions provided in reading, give examples of ethnic dress, national dress, world dress, and world fashion from your own dress or that of your family members, friends, and acquaintances. Can you find examples of all four kinds of dress?

Ethnic dress is when someone will follow traditional customs by wearing specific outfits. An example of this is someone who is wearing traditional outfits from their specific ethnic group. National dress occurs with a person wearing an ensemble that is following the traditions of a particular country. An example of this can be seen with someone wearing an Indian sari. World dress is when someone will wear their clothing based upon global cultural trends. An example of this is someone who is wearing more Westernized clothing styles. World fashion is where an individual will dress according to the various tends that have been established. An example of this is when people from other countries will want to wear specific products that are seen as stylish such as Levis blue jeans. (Eicher, 2008)

Review the concepts of world fashion and tradition in dress. How do you see these affecting your dress?

The way these variables affect the way I dress is to show the historical traditions I am embracing and how I am influenced by what is stylish. (Eicher, 2008)

Do fashionable dress and ethnic dress both have a history of change?

Yes. Fashionable and ethnic dress has a history of change which is continually evolving. (Eicher, 2008)

Part 2

Share with others in your discussion group -- the kinds of dress from other cultures you have seen on people you have met from other cultural groups, for example, recent immigrants to the United States or people you have met traveling outside the United States. Explain how you interpreted the dress they wore. Based on your example, and the examples of others in your discussion group, decide how cultural differences in dress affect your interactions with others.

A type of dress I have seen from other cultures is way individuals wear their clothing from Middle Eastern countries. I interpreted what they wore as form of historical and religious traditions they were embracing. This affects the way some will interact with them by associating these people with those they…

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