Monday, August 14, 2006

From Slavoj Zizek's The Fragile Absolute (Commonplace Book)

Even such an apparently trivial domain as fashion provides a nice example of how ideology displaces/conceals class antagonism: the fashion for stonewashed jeans, for instance, imaginarily resolves class antagonism by offering jeans which can be appropriated by those who are 'down' and those who are 'up' -- the upper strata wear stonewashed jeans in order to appear in solidarity with popular strata, while members of the popular strata wear them in order to look like members of the upper strata. So when members of the lower strata wear stonewashed jeans, the seemingly direct coincidence between social status (poverty) and clothing (worn, torn jeans) masks a double mediation: they are imitating those who are imitating an imagined popular class look ... The ultimate irony here is that the company which specializes in such products -- destined to blur/displace the class gap -- is called, precisely, Gap.


Mitch said...

This is, perhaps, one of the greatest things I've ever read.

Geoff Klock said...

Yeah -- Zizek is always a hoot.