The Politics of Dress in Asia and the Americas (The Sussex Library of Asian Studies)

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9781845193997: The Politics of Dress in Asia and the Americas (The Sussex Library of Asian Studies)

This book explores the ways in which dress has been influential in the political agendas and self-representations of politicians in a variety of regimes, from democratic to authoritarian. Arguing that dress is part of 'hard core' politics, the book - now in paperback - shows how dress has been crucial to the constructions of nationhood and national identities in both Asia and the Americas. Since dress has been a marker of identity and status, chapters engage with the gendering of the politics of dress, discussing how women have become bearers and wearers of 'national tradition' and how men's and women's dress reflect their political positions in the nation-state. It examines the magical power of cloth, the meanings of batik and design, the holy status of uncut cloth vs. cut cloth, and the quaint combination of non-Western with Western attire. This collection of pioneering essays fills a vacuum in the largely Eurocentric field of dress studies, demanding that attention be paid to Asia and the Americas as major sites of vestimentary creativity.

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About the Author:

Mina Roces teaches in the School of History, at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia. She is author of Women, Power and Kinship Politics: Female Power in Post-War Philippines. Louise Edwards is Professor of China Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has published widely in the field of women in China. Together with Mina Roces, she has previously edited two influential books on women in Asia.

Review:

“A truly fascinating and original collection of essays. By discussing the reciprocal relationship between dress and political identity and action, the authors in this book provide a fresh and very insightful entry into analyses of the ever-changing relation between power and gender. The instances which are described are taken from all around the Pacific rim, thus providing important elements for comparison, both within the wider region itself and through the rest of the world. Those of us who work on other parts of the world can only be jealous.”  —Robert Ross, Leiden University

“Try to imagine Fidel Castro in white tie and tails, or George Bush in a Polynesian sarong. For most people, these images just don’t work. Clothes make a statement. Roces (history, University of New South Wales) and Edwards (China Studies, University of Technology, Sydney) have assembled articles on how dress has been and continues to be a statement of politics. With a focus on Asia and America, topics range from scholars and school uniforms in China to the invention of a Thai national costume for women in order to promote local silk weavers. Others discuss how the use of a particular hair comb in Argentina could signal solidarity for the democratic movement or how Blackfoot peoples used adaptations of Western clothing and that of other tribes to indicate status. The rest of the essays are equally varied in time and region, giving a fascinating angle on a facet of politics that is rarely seriously studied.”  —Reference & Research Book News

“Editors Roces and Edwards provide 13 case studies (7 Asian, 6 American) covering 18th- to 21st-century examples of transcultural interactions related to colonialism, imperialism, democratic republicanism, enlightened monarchialism, and globalization, whereby new forms and interpretations of hybrid dress were created. Themes and examples include the evolutionary problem of which group is accepted as wearing the national dress (indigenous peoples, ethnic groups, peasants, or mestizos); power dressing by elites; gender clothes as expressing power; and use of dress by elites related to political programs. The book’s cover illustrates the controversial use of “national” dress as Asian Pacific Economic cooperation leaders pose wearing clothing of the host nation. Overall, this small book is a rich gem that poses new questions, penetrates contrasting cultures over time and space, and demonstrates that the study of dress is a serious academic endeavour. Highly recommended.”  —Choice

“Those who delve into the history of clothing and politics will be rewarded with an extremely fertile field of study. The subject offers diverse examples of how specific garments, cultural practices of clothing the body, or indeed, keeping parts of the body naked, have been manipulated to serve or undermine political ideologies and agendas, promote class values, or craft sexual identities, within a myriad of temporal contexts.”  —Asian Studies Review

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Published by Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom (2010)
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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book explores the ways in which dress has been influential in the political agendas and self-representations of politicians in a variety of regimes from democratic to authoritarian. Arguing that dress is part of hard core politics, it shows how dress has been crucial to the constructions of nationhood and national identities in both Asia and the Americas. Since dress has been a marker of identity and status, chapters engage with the gendering of the politics of dress, discussing how women have become bearers and wearers of national tradition and how men and women s dress reflect their political positions in the nation-state. It examines the magical power of cloth, the meanings of batik and design, the holy status of uncut cloth versus cut cloth, and the quaint combination of non-Western with Western attire. This collection of pioneering essays fills a vacuum in the largely Eurocentric field of dress studies, demanding that attention be paid to Asia and the Americas as major sites of vestimentary creativity. Bookseller Inventory # AAG9781845193997

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Published by Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom (2010)
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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book explores the ways in which dress has been influential in the political agendas and self-representations of politicians in a variety of regimes from democratic to authoritarian. Arguing that dress is part of hard core politics, it shows how dress has been crucial to the constructions of nationhood and national identities in both Asia and the Americas. Since dress has been a marker of identity and status, chapters engage with the gendering of the politics of dress, discussing how women have become bearers and wearers of national tradition and how men and women s dress reflect their political positions in the nation-state. It examines the magical power of cloth, the meanings of batik and design, the holy status of uncut cloth versus cut cloth, and the quaint combination of non-Western with Western attire. This collection of pioneering essays fills a vacuum in the largely Eurocentric field of dress studies, demanding that attention be paid to Asia and the Americas as major sites of vestimentary creativity. Bookseller Inventory # AAG9781845193997

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EDITED BY: MINA ROCES, LOUISE EDWARDS
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