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Lesson 1: Group Identity

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  • Peter
    The group that I want to focus on is the working class here in Brazil (Remeber that I live and work in Soutrh America´s biggest city, São Paulo). Working
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 20, 2008
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      The group that I want to focus on is the working class here in
      Brazil (Remeber that I live and work in Soutrh America´s biggest
      city, São Paulo).
      Working class Brazilians celebrate social/religious occasions in
      disticnt and clear ways - Very well and smartly dressed for weddings
      and some chrasmatic church groups and virtually just and "old rag"
      for weddings. I once attended a wedding
      for which my wife had told me that it wasn´t at all necessary to
      wear anything formal because people are normally very informal. Much
      to my dismay I found out that it was exactly the opposite as
      everyone was extremely well dressed and made up. The women were
      mostly drressed in ball gowns and the men in two piece suits. No
      wool or silks though. Nylons and polyesters I suppose are always
      more cost effective but also better for the humidity. My wife and I
      are fairly laid back about fashion but I never attended a wedding
      again without formal dress. One has to conform some time or the
      other.

      Funerals on the other hand are almost the opposite extreme. Everyone
      seems to wear whatever was available in the closet on that day. I
      simple see this as not necessarily being a sign of disrespect but
      rather of a sense of life must go on!
      Social status is very important in Brazil but is not one of the
      major factors that determines something like dress sense. The vast
      majority of people identify themselves with the group and conforms
      to it. It is therefore difficult to point out in this group who is
      who just by looking at way someone is dressed. Individuals
      differentiate themselves in other ways for example by the cars they
      drive or the gated community they live in.
      Attraction between people is also not truly based on a clothes
      although clothes do help point out certain assets. Beauty and health
      is very strong at the moment so it is very common to see young men
      and women whose bodies are well toned through long and hard physical
      training. So much so that a pair of broad shoulders means more than
      what´s inside of the head. I have to mention beach wear as this is
      also a definite major cause of physical attraction. Nudity on
      Brazilian beaches is a taboo. Women wearing a G-string bikini on the
      other hand is the 8th wonder of the world. The idea of the prefect
      from is taken literally in many cases so that Brazil is one of the
      world leaders in the number of corrective surgeries
      performed.
      I believe that it is very difficult not to conform to the group as
      individuals who do not will be ostrasized. A good examaple of this
      was when I went to a local neighbourhood supermaket without shoes
      and was stared at as if I had slaughtered a holy cow. Individual
      tastes are not taken into account and these individuals are expected
      to conform or be excluded.
    • Costume Lady
      I have chosen the teenager to write about. Mainly because I work with teenagers in a church group and their dress is always a topic of conversation with the
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 21, 2008
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        I have chosen the teenager to write about. Mainly because I work
        with teenagers in a church group and their dress is always a topic of
        conversation with the other adults who work with them. Also the
        majority of the teenagers I work with and deal with are from middle
        to upper class families, so they dress differently than your lower
        income or poorer teens.

        Teenagers (especially girls) tend to celebrate social and religious
        occasions by getting a new dress. Whether is it is a winter formal,
        prom or a confirmation, bat or bar mitzvah; a new dress is in order
        for the event.

        Different kids use different methods of clothing to identify
        themselves. Jeans are a popular uniform with a t-shirt or a pretty
        shirt for the girls. With the introduction of Ipod's and MP3
        players, the hoodie is in fashion because the kids can wear the hoods
        to hide their earphones if they don't want anyone to know they are
        listening.

        As far as showing status in a group, labels are what show status with
        the kids. Obviously a teenager with jeans from a high end store are a
        little better off than those who wear jeans from Sears or JC Penney's
        or even Wal-Mart.

        Girls use clothes much more to attract boys than the other way
        around. Having a 20 year old daughter, I've seen her go through this
        process. When going out an outfit is very deliberately chosen that
        she thinks looks good on her and will make her noticed by the other
        boys.

        Teenagers express their individual taste not only by the type of
        clothing they choose but how they wear it. For example, some of
        today's young men like to wear their jeans low on their hips with
        their boxers showing. Some young women like to have their pants low
        enough and their tops high enough to see the top of their underwear
        as well. Not that all this is appropriate but it is they way they
        feel comfortable dressing. Some teenagers prefer the worn, torn jeans
        and old t-shirts as a matter of comfort. Others like to have the
        latest from the store that is hot at the moment, to show they have
        good taste in clothing (and the money to spend on the clothes).
      • Peter
        Hi Ima Interesting how fashion has worldwide underlying trends. Your description of teens in the US seems like something I would say about teens here in Brazil
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 26, 2008
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          Hi Ima

          Interesting how fashion has worldwide underlying trends. Your
          description of teens in the US seems like something I would say
          about teens here in Brazil whwere I reside.

          The only difference is that YES there is a lot of concern about name
          brands but it seems more as if the point is whether young people are
          or not PART OF THE GROUP per say.

          Regards
          Peter Lenting


          underCostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "Costume Lady"
          <ima1130@...> wrote:
          >
          > I have chosen the teenager to write about. Mainly because I work
          > with teenagers in a church group and their dress is always a topic
          of
          > conversation with the other adults who work with them. Also the
          > majority of the teenagers I work with and deal with are from
          middle
          > to upper class families, so they dress differently than your lower
          > income or poorer teens.
          >
          > Teenagers (especially girls) tend to celebrate social and
          religious
          > occasions by getting a new dress. Whether is it is a winter
          formal,
          > prom or a confirmation, bat or bar mitzvah; a new dress is in
          order
          > for the event.
          >
          > Different kids use different methods of clothing to identify
          > themselves. Jeans are a popular uniform with a t-shirt or a
          pretty
          > shirt for the girls. With the introduction of Ipod's and MP3
          > players, the hoodie is in fashion because the kids can wear the
          hoods
          > to hide their earphones if they don't want anyone to know they are
          > listening.
          >
          > As far as showing status in a group, labels are what show status
          with
          > the kids. Obviously a teenager with jeans from a high end store
          are a
          > little better off than those who wear jeans from Sears or JC
          Penney's
          > or even Wal-Mart.
          >
          > Girls use clothes much more to attract boys than the other way
          > around. Having a 20 year old daughter, I've seen her go through
          this
          > process. When going out an outfit is very deliberately chosen
          that
          > she thinks looks good on her and will make her noticed by the
          other
          > boys.
          >
          > Teenagers express their individual taste not only by the type of
          > clothing they choose but how they wear it. For example, some of
          > today's young men like to wear their jeans low on their hips with
          > their boxers showing. Some young women like to have their pants
          low
          > enough and their tops high enough to see the top of their
          underwear
          > as well. Not that all this is appropriate but it is they way they
          > feel comfortable dressing. Some teenagers prefer the worn, torn
          jeans
          > and old t-shirts as a matter of comfort. Others like to have the
          > latest from the store that is hot at the moment, to show they have
          > good taste in clothing (and the money to spend on the clothes).
          >
        • lindseymacallister
          Fascinating commentary about your experience in Brazil. No matter the country, I bet everyone has found themselves underdressed at some point. Isn t it
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 21, 2008
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            Fascinating commentary about your experience in Brazil.
            No matter the country, I bet everyone has found themselves
            underdressed at some point. Isn't it interesting the social
            expectations we place on ourselves!

            --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "Peter"
            <peterlenting@...> wrote:
            >
            > The group that I want to focus on is the working class here in
            > Brazil (Remeber that I live and work in Soutrh America´s biggest
            > city, São Paulo).
            > Working class Brazilians celebrate social/religious occasions in
            > disticnt and clear ways - Very well and smartly dressed for
            weddings
            > and some chrasmatic church groups and virtually just and "old rag"
            > for weddings. I once attended a wedding
            > for which my wife had told me that it wasn´t at all necessary to
            > wear anything formal because people are normally very informal.
            Much
            > to my dismay I found out that it was exactly the opposite as
            > everyone was extremely well dressed and made up. The women were
            > mostly drressed in ball gowns and the men in two piece suits. No
            > wool or silks though. Nylons and polyesters I suppose are always
            > more cost effective but also better for the humidity. My wife and I
            > are fairly laid back about fashion but I never attended a wedding
            > again without formal dress. One has to conform some time or the
            > other.
            >
            > Funerals on the other hand are almost the opposite extreme.
            Everyone
            > seems to wear whatever was available in the closet on that day. I
            > simple see this as not necessarily being a sign of disrespect but
            > rather of a sense of life must go on!
            > Social status is very important in Brazil but is not one of the
            > major factors that determines something like dress sense. The vast
            > majority of people identify themselves with the group and conforms
            > to it. It is therefore difficult to point out in this group who is
            > who just by looking at way someone is dressed. Individuals
            > differentiate themselves in other ways for example by the cars they
            > drive or the gated community they live in.
            > Attraction between people is also not truly based on a clothes
            > although clothes do help point out certain assets. Beauty and
            health
            > is very strong at the moment so it is very common to see young men
            > and women whose bodies are well toned through long and hard
            physical
            > training. So much so that a pair of broad shoulders means more than
            > what´s inside of the head. I have to mention beach wear as this is
            > also a definite major cause of physical attraction. Nudity on
            > Brazilian beaches is a taboo. Women wearing a G-string bikini on
            the
            > other hand is the 8th wonder of the world. The idea of the prefect
            > from is taken literally in many cases so that Brazil is one of the
            > world leaders in the number of corrective surgeries
            > performed.
            > I believe that it is very difficult not to conform to the group as
            > individuals who do not will be ostrasized. A good examaple of this
            > was when I went to a local neighbourhood supermaket without shoes
            > and was stared at as if I had slaughtered a holy cow. Individual
            > tastes are not taken into account and these individuals are
            expected
            > to conform or be excluded.
            >
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