"This is all fake, this is all plastic, this is me" : An ethnographic study of the interrelations between style, sexuality and gender in contemporary Stockholm
Abstract: This dissertation investigates the processes and effects involved in the production of styles in contemporary Stockholm. Particular focus is given to materialization processes regarding gender and sexuality. It is an ethnographic study, organized around three different research methods: participant observation, semi-structured interviews and organic wardrobe studies, carried out during the duration of two years and mainly delimited to Stockholm, often focusing on but not limited to the queer-orientated downtown club scene. The study is centered on ten participants, but is also concerned with the events, situations and relations the participants become part of during this time. In this way, the analysis gives equal attention to the specificity of garments and the spaces and places of social interaction.Drawing on a combination of Judith Butler’s theory of performativity and Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory, it analyses how styles are produced and maintained through interactions. The concept of style operates as a tool of analysis, approaching the subject matter from three different perspectives: verbal communication and politics of naming, the wheres and whens of sartorial practices, and lastly bodily matters as a point of intersection, where styles are constituted as bodily materializations through gestures, movements and orientation in space. Furthermore, this thesis engages in an on-going discussion within fashion studies on how the articulation of matters regarding sexuality, gender and identity projects can be theorized through the concept of style. In this way, it also challenges and furthers the definition of this concept by proving its productive qualities through ethnographic fieldwork.
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