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Redefining indian identity through fashion

Redefining indian identity through fashion

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Published by Hershey Desai

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Published by: Hershey Desai on Apr 12, 2012
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04/24/2012

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Module: Sociology Of Design
 
Assignment 2:
Redefining Indian Identitythrough fashion. (Ethnic Vintage)
 
M.Des 1.1Name:
Harshal Desai
 
Lecturer
s
 
Dr Kelvin Lee
 Arabella Pasquette
Date of Submission
7/21/2011Word Count: 3392
 
 
2
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The word “ethnicity” is quite ambiguous. It has often been used while describing certainpatterns or behaviors established within a society. At times, ethnicity can also berelated to more literal geographic boundary. The definition has changed multiple timesover the past few years. Earlier, it emphasized on the cultural aspect of a regionwhereas now, with the age of modernization, ethnicity usually refers to a social groupsfollowing a similar trait such as speaking the same language or having similar religiousbeliefs etc. Our perspective of ethnicity is with reference to individuality, values andpractices of a group who feel connected to their heritage, either through traditionalmethods or via a hybrid of different cultures, overall making the society distinct enoughto stand out from the other ethnic groups. However, ethnicity isn’t always inherited fromthe older generations. With globalization, ethnicity can be “constructed by externalsocioeconomic processes and media promotionstoo (Nagel, 1994)There is no fixed definition for ethnic identity. It’s a dynamic fluid term that keepsevolving with the various global conditions of society.Referring to the statement of this particular assignment, Quentin Crisp quoted,
Fashion is what you adopt when you don’t know who you are.
Taking the sentence in a literal sense, it stated that those who are clueless about theirethnic origins would just adopt the fashion sense of their current society in order toderive a feeling of identity. Fashion styles are just one aspect contributing to ethnicidentity. But why is ethnic fashion considered as a distinguishing characteristic? Afterall, fashion evolves at a rapid pace; new trends popping up constantly each year,various styles being adopted from different regions etc.Ethnic fashion is vital because it has a multitude of identities. It can represent a person’straditional heritage, or political affiliations, religious associations, or even simply,individuality in terms of personal taste. Just like the term “ethnicity”, ethnic fashion isdynamic, forever evolving and still managing to retain its own unique characteristicthat allows it to differentiate itself from other communities.The best place to study various styles of ethnic fashion is in India. With changes broughtforth by globalization, India has been divided into three distinct categories of ethnicindividuality, each unique and considering themselves to be the dominant Indianidentity.

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