The Fashion Industry as a Slippery Discursive Site: Tracing the Lines of Flight Between Problem and Intervention Public Deposited

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  • June 6, 2022
  • Dawisha, Nadia
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
  • At the intersection of the glamorous façade of designer runway shows, such as those in Paris, Milan and New York, and the cheap prices at the local Walmart and Target, is the complicated, somewhat insidious “business” of the fashion industry. It is complicated because it both exploits and empowers, sometimes through the very same practices; it is insidious because its most exploitative practices are often hidden, reproduced, and sustained through a consumer culture in which we are all in some ways complicit. Since fashion’s inception, people and institutions have employed a myriad of discursive strategies to ignore and even justify their complicity in exploitative labor, environmental degradation, and neo-colonial practices. This dissertation identifies and analyzes five predicaments of fashion while locating the multiple interventions that engage various discursive spaces in the fashion industry. Ultimately, the analysis of discursive strategies by creatives, workers, organizers, and bloggers reveals the existence of agile interventions that are as nuanced as the problem, and that can engage with disciplinary power in all these complicated places. By shining a light on these agile interventions that are employed by various actors in the industry, my hope is that this project will help to clarify these murky spaces and pave a way forward for change within the fashion industry and beyond.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Palm, Michael
  • May, Steve
  • Parker, Patricia
  • Dempsey, Sarah
  • Klumbyte, Neringa
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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