The Dress of Women: A Critical Introduction to the Symbolism and Sociology of Clothing

Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - 160 páginas

Originally serialized in 1915 in The Forerunner, and never before published in book form, The Dress of Women presents Gilman's feminist sociological analysis of clothing in modern society. Gilman explores the social and functional basis for clothing, excavates the symbolic role of women's clothing in patriarchal societies, and, among other things, explicates the aesthetic and economic principles of socially responsible clothing design. The introduction, by Hill and Deegan, situates The Dress of Women within Gilman's intellectual work as a sociologist, and relates her sociological ideas to the themes she developed in some of her other works.

Although written in 1915, Gilman's treatment of clothing and dress remains relevant. This pioneering effort adds substantially to Gilman's reputation as a sociological theorist and feminist. In addition, it represents one of the earliest full-length specifically sociological analyses of clothing and the fashion industry. Ultimately, the author concludes that harmful and degrading aspects of women's dress are amenable to reform if men and women will work together rationally to change the controlling institutional patterns of the society in which they live. This groundbreaking work will appeal to those interested in Gilman, feminist theory, sociological theory, social psychology, women's literature, and women's studies.


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Páginas seleccionadas


Prefatory Note
Primary Motives in Clothing
Some Modifying Forces
The Principles Involved
Physical Health and Beauty
Beauty versus Sex Distinction
The Hat
Decorative Art Trimmings and Ornament
Larger Economic Considerations
The Force Called Fashion
Fashion and Psychology
Hope and Comfort
About the Author and Editors
Página de créditos

Humanitarian and Economic Considerations

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Página 152 - His Lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant ; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things ; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
Página 149 - A FOOL there was and he made his prayer (Even as you and I !) To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair (We called her the woman who did not care), But the fool he called her his lady fair (Even as you and I...
Página 151 - Spent six consecutive weeks without stopping In one continuous round of shopping: Shopping alone and shopping together, At all hours of the day and in all sorts of weather; For all manner of things that a woman can put On the crown of her head or the sole of her foot, Or wrap round her shoulders or fit round her waist, Or that can be...
Página 151 - M'FLIMSEY, of Madison Square, Has made three separate journeys to Paris ; And her father assures me, each time she was there, That she, and her friend Mrs. Harris, (Not the lady whose name is so famous in history, But plain Mrs. H., without romance or mystery,) Spent six consecutive weeks, without stopping...
Página 152 - ... and potatoes, but there may be a line of daisies, white and red, on each side of the narrow footpath, and honeysuckle over the door. Life is not always hard, even after backs grow bent, and we know that all braes lead only to the grave. This is Jess's window. For more than twenty years she had not been able to go so far as the door, and only once while I knew her was she ben in the room. With her husband, Hendry, or their only daughter, Leeby, to lean upon, and her hand clutching her staff, she...
Página 152 - ... some, alas ! watch in vain. Not every one returns who takes the elbow of the brae bravely, or waves his handkerchief to those who watch from the window with wet eyes, and some return too late. To Jess, at her window always when she was not in bed, things happy and mournful and terrible came into view. At this window she sat for twenty years or more looking at the world as through a telescope ; and here an awful ordeal was gone through after her sweet untarnished soul had been given back to God.

Sobre el autor (2002)

CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN was an eminent feminist sociologist and novelist, perhaps best known for Women in Economics (1898) and, as a fiction writer, for her semi-autobiographical work The Yellow Wallpaper (1892).

MICHAEL R. HILL is an interdisciplinary social scientist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds doctorates in both sociology and geography. He is the author of Walking, Crossing Streets and Choosing Pedestrian Routes (1984) and Archival Strategies and Techniques (1993), and editor or co-editor of Harriet Martineau's Women and Symbolic Interaction (1987) and Gilman's With Her in Ourland: Sequel to Herland (Greenwood, 1997). He edits the journal Sociological Origins. In 2000, Hill became Chairman of the History of Sociology section of the American Sociological Association.

MARY JO DEEGAN is Professor of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her publications include Women and Disability (1985), Jane Addams and the Men of the Chicago School, 1892-1918 (1988), American Ritual Dramas (Greenwood, 1989), and Women in Sociology: A Bio-Bibliographic Sourcebook (Greenwood, 1991). She is editor of American Ritual Tapestry (Greenwood, 1998), George Herbert Mead's Play, School, and Society (1999), Essays in Social Psychology: George Herbert Mead's First Book (forthcoming), A Voice from Chicago: The Collected Works of Fannie Barrier Williams (forthcoming), and co-editor of Women and Symbolic Interaction (1987) and Gilman's With Her in Ourland: Sequel to Herland (Greenwood, 1997).

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